Sunday, December 23, 2007

Queen's Christmas Broadcast 1957

Just the thing I've been waiting for: The Royal Family set up
a youtube account, called The Royal Channel.
On this link one can access this year's Christmas message by the Queen in a couple of days. Also very interesting is her majesty's Christmas broadcast from the early days of television 50 years ago, from 1957. Embedding has been disabled, so you have to click on the link to watch the contemplative 7min30 with which I want to wish you all a very merry ...or rather: Happy Christmas.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

The Story of Stuff (thanks to Janna)

I only watched the first third so far, but I'm already convinced I should post this: The Story of Stuff with Annie Leonard.
A neatly animated 20-min movie about the chain of consumption and--more importantly--its huge flaws. Watch it before the purchase of your Christmas presents and get influenced.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Photolog pt. XIII - British Neurosausages

Just a little something I wanted to share with all the Hannibal Lecters out there:
Look what you can buy in London's supermarkets..

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Photolog pt. XII - Library Toilet Reading Flush

I know that people who go to libraries usually like to read--
On the other hand, they might also want to take a break while going to the loo.
This is what you get bombarded with when you want to wee in the toilet of our library (in chronological order).


Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Common Changes

You can see an artist's status changing when the category of "Tour Dates" on his website disappears being replaced by "Appearances".

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Brownswood Loves Jazz @ Amsterdam, KSPACE

I told you earlier about this great Brownswood Jazz concert series we went to. Now there is a nice video of the voice-drums dialog of José James and the drummer of Soil&Pimp Sessions -- in a tiny sneaker store in Amsterdam.
On this occasion I also discovered an informative website called kspace.tv from the Netherlands dealing with concerts and music-related matters (and of course with their sneaker brand).

Monday, November 12, 2007

Bionade-Biedermeier - Prenzl'Berg in ZEIT Leben

One of the best written articles I've read in a long time on socio-economic topics, which always have to be treated with witty seriousness and which oftentimes forget their message in the course of wallowing: Henning Sussebach writes about Berlin's hipster neighborhood Prenzlauer Berg in this week's Die Zeit (.pdf version).
In a pretty slick manner he integrates the topics of "newest Germany's coming of age"--that has been all over in the German media last week (18 years after November 9, 1989)--, Berlin's being en vogue, and Prenzl'Berg's alleged fertility and radiation of liberality.
He manages to entertainingly portray and point with his finger to Prenzl'Berg's status quo without the--not uncommon--Berlin bashing factor. Many thanks for the article.
Definitely a must-read (sorry, in German only).

Impressive - Sophisticated Rap Interpretations (a link by Mo)

Wow--that's very impressive:
I don't know who did this but in line with for example indexed's tricky visualization styles there is this representation of rap and its topics in pseudo-mathematics-slash-statistics on jamphat.com. Every diagram leads you to the respective music video, so you could procrastinate for hours and hours. Enjoy (and thanks, Mo).

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Giorgio Regalo's Guitar (Juergen Schenk Online)

Nice--
Juergen Schenk, my former guitar teacher brings music school to the digital level.
He plays everything from Heitor Villa-Lobos (see below) to Metallica on youtube.
He definitely had a great influence on my relation to technical gadgets and computers (in addition to my guitar playing skills), and I'm very grateful for that...

Friday, November 02, 2007

London Escalator Conundrum

One thing I don't understand in the UK:
People are driving on the left side of the road and are thus overtaking on the right side.
Why do they still stick to the rather continental maxim of standing on the right side and walking (overtaking) on the left side of an escalator?

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

25 Years of Berlin Kreuzberg - Photo Selection

I just found this neat photo series on spiegel.de: The photographer Peter Frischmuth took pictures in Kreuzberg in 1982. 25 years later he visited the same spots again. Here's a great snippet from his book "Berlin Kreuzberg SO36".

Monday, October 22, 2007

Breakin' News: Gilles' Brownswood Gang Touring Paris, Berlin, London Next Week

Cooool.
Now I settled and am ready to enjoy life again.
Just in time there is a grant concert coming up next week.
The reason I'm posting this is that they are also playing both in Paris and Berlin.
The infamous Soil & Pimp Sessions (mentioned before) are playing together with José James completed by jazz pianist Ehlan Mehler and of course Gilles Peterson on the decks.

The whole thing is gonna take place on the following dates:
  • Friday 26th Oct Paradiso, Amsterdam
  • Sunday 28th Oct La Fleche Dor, Paris
  • Tuesday 30th Oct Bohannon, Berlin
  • Wednesday 31st Oct Bush Hall, London
That's definitely a musical must for everybody!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

London Normalizing

Just another personal note:
After 3 weeks of only cold showers and extreme hustle, we will be moving into our own house this Sunday.
Before, however, we will be transferring our goods and chattels from the world's 13th most expensive city to number 2 over the weekend. Europe rocks!

View Larger Map

Friday, September 28, 2007

London Callin'

Just a personal note:
Everything's fine in London, don't have a flat yet, but the city and the university are great.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Where's the Beef? McDonald's in Kreuzberg

So yesterday it finally opened: the strongly debated first McDonald's 'restaurant' in Berlin-Kreuzberg. Here's the Spiegel International cover story.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Now Online: Jerry Blossom presents Electric Boogie + Jazz Striptease (1975-85)

The 2007 Jerry Blossom tape is finally up 'n' runnin'.
Originally, it was conceptualized as a summer tape -- so listen and shake it as if...

As usual, it contains 60 minutes of Funk, HipHop, Disco and Jazz straight outta the crates;
with a little bit of both Paris and Berlin flavor to it.
You can find it online as .mp3 (zipped twice).


---
Jerry Blossom presents
ELECTRIC BOOGIE & JAZZ STRIPTEASE (1975-85)

SIDE 1:
Kurtis Blow - The Deuce (1981)
Kurtis Blow - It's Gettin Hot (1981)
Alphonse Mouzon - By All Means (1980)
Champaign - Can You Find The Time? (1980)
Kevie Kev - All Night Long (Waterbed) (1983)
Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five - New York New York (1983)
Prince Charles - Video Freak (Defend It!) (1982)
The Biddu Orchestra - The Stud (1978)
Ramsey Lewis - Salongo (1976)

SIDE 2:
Gonna Fly Now (Theme from Rocky) (1976)
George Benson - Gonna Love You More (1977)
Mel Brooks - It's Good To Be The King (1981)
René & Angela - I'll Be Good (1985)
Heatwave - Party Poops (1978)
Heatwave - Dreamin You (1980)
Sigi Schwab & Peter Horton - Jagt Den Beelzebub (1978)
Earth Wind & Fire - Runnin (1977)
Werner Müller Orchester - Cherry Blossom Time
Dire Straits - Sultans of Swing (1978)

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Photolog pt. XI - What Happened to the MCees? German Rap 2007

I grew up in Germany when German HipHop was in flower--which was say in 1992-2002. Within the last two weeks, I discovered two of my old heroes in weird contexts: Blumentopf, the high school and student rappers from Munich, appeared at the open day of the German Government, and Samy Deluxe, who used to be the probably most gifted talent of the German rap scene in 1997 and rather of the bad boy type, is playing role model for being legal and paying the cumbersome fees of the German TV Licensing Office (his shirts says "Nedless to say, I pay").
Not that this would have come out of the blue, but the two rap stars changed camps since last year: In 2006, Blumentopf had several (great!) 'raportages' on TV during the soccer worldcup and Samy Deluxe was repeatedly invited as the voice of the youth to Sabine Christiansen, the political talk show every Sunday night.
Nevertheless, it evokes funny feelings...

Friday, September 07, 2007

Important Book Charts - Number 3

After the Bible/Koran and the recently claimed second most important religious oeuvre, the Pope's Jesus book, I just discovered number 3, entitled A Million Random Digits, available as paperback on amazon for 28.5$. Furthermore, they offer a 'Search Inside' function, and you should definitely check out the helpful user commentaries.
My favorite ones
Such a terrific reference work! But with so many terrific random digits, it's a shame they didn't sort them, to make it easier to find the one you're looking for.
and
Valuable, but a flawed translation...

Text-to-Speech and DJ Premier Trackology

I've always been a big fan of DJ Premier, his beats are the mothers of hiphop, and--as I noted earlier--he seems to be back. I found this comprehensive list of what the man has produced.
So take a Primo instrumental and write some lyrics.
If you're not confident in your rap voice, you can text-to-speech synthesize them on the AT&T Labs website - even in Spanish, German and French plus in UK, IR and some other English dialects.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Swabian Viral Marketing Wars (a link by D-trick)

Check this out-- it's freakin' funny at least for all you German (preferably Swabian) blokes.
Thanks to D-trick for the link (his blog is in German just as the cool video).

Just Referencing PhD Comics

Wow, time's flying again--because of research and the gorgeous city of Berlin.
Check this new hilarious PhD Comics strip on an assessment of your research work.
Great stuff!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

An Offer You Can't Refuse

Now that's a funny gadget: a horse head pillow.
The official text:
"
Finally, a gift you can send to your 'frienemies'. For the recipient, there will be no misunderstanding that you want them to get a better sleep..."
(60 or 70 USD plus shipping)


Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Environment and Planes - Update

I don't want to be a moralizer, but I saw two things I'm not sure about, given what I wrote before:
  1. On flugstatistik.de (German) you can brag about how many miles and hours you already traveled by plane.
  2. Tuifly.de has an 'all you can fly' flatrate for young people under 27. You pay 199€ and you can fly as much as you want until the end of October, taxes and fees already included. Check out the discussion on airliners for some downsides in addition to the environmental issues.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

3 Parts of The Four Ages of Functional Neuroimaging

I wasn't sure if he would continue, but Brad Buchsbaum, a cognitive neuroscientist at Berkeley, just posted the third part of his essay on "The Four Ages of Functional Neuroimaging". As I just attended a heated debate between a neuroanatomist and a cognitive scientist using functional imaging for mindreading, I can assure you the problems raised in Buchsbaum's essay are at the heart of (cognitive) neuroscientific discussion at the moment. Very readable and interesting.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Email of Indulgence - Modern Global Citizens

Naturally (!), I follow the ongoing debate of how to maintain or even improve living on planet earth and I've posted on it before (a/k/a the 'whereabouts of mankind' series).

I stumbled over two modern concepts:
  1. You can calculate your CO2 emissions (by plance, car, etc.) and buy a so-called terrapass that balances your impact by investing the money in projects that reduce CO2 emissions somewhere else. A comparable institution out of Potsdam, Germany, is called TheCompensators*.
  2. The website with the magnificent title WorldChanging.com is set-up as a portal for ideas and tools that may change our thinking for the better. It "works from a simple premise: that the tools, models and ideas for building a better future lie all around us."

Monday, August 06, 2007

Sinfest Recommendation 06 08 2007

Hehe--Tatsuya Ishida did it again.
Today's sinfest clip is just great.
I should definitely read it more often. Too bad it doesn't have a feed.


Sunday, August 05, 2007

Vids: Chromeo and Justice

Tenderoni


Chromeo is gonna play in Berlin (103 Club, Falckensteinstraße) next Thursday, August 9, 2007.

This animation style seems to be en vogue, as also Justice's D.A.N.C.E. video sports it.

JUSTICE : D.A.N.C.E.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Brain and Language - Talking Brains Blog

I just discovered that the two guys I mentioned in a post 3 months ago, recently launched a blog on brain and language, called talking brains.

Both are big names in the field, Gregory Hickok being Cognitive (Neuro)Science Professor at UC Irvine, and David Poeppel Biology and Linguistics Professor at the University of Maryland (and buddy of my Parisian supervisor). It was a pity that David Poeppel had to cancel his participation in the workshop I recently attended on the overlap of linguistics and neuroscience.

At first glance their blog features article reviews and job offers in the field. I guess most of it might be understandable to non-neuroscientists (cf. understandable neuroscience series).
Can't wait to see what's going to come.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Photolog pt. X and Post # 200 : Back in Berlin

I'm back in Berlin for the summer. It felt like coming home and somehow it didn't. Strange!

30 minutes after my arrival.

Dummy Post for the Stats

Nuthin' 'n' Everythin'.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Douglas Adams' God Reflection (link by Steven)

As probably the last post from Paris, I would like to forward you the nice 4min23sec reflection on the origin of the God idea by ingenious Douglas Adams. The two are probably playing cards together at the moment, giggling over the universe.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Sentimental Paris -- Ratatouille (again)

Funny--
I recently met a guy who asked if it's hard for me to update my blog and I answered "never!".
This month, however, the interpost periods get longer and longer. I apologize but these are my last days in Paris...
Which brings me to the topic:
Go and watch the new Pixar flic Ratatouille if you can (I posted earlier about it). I had the pleasure to watch in a French 'première' last Sunday and it's honestly great (already top50 on imdb.com). There's also a 9 minute preview on the website. Check it out!

Oh I'm detecting nuttiness alright!

Friday, July 06, 2007

Photolog pt. IX - Paternoster Picture

Thanks to my sister and her boyfriend I recently had the opportunity to use a paternoster elevator. You know, one of these lifts with a constantly moving vertical chain of small boxes.
I know it's not a very original question, but I wanted to know what happens at the very top, and of course the small boxes don't go upside down but are translated over the "hairpin bend" by a giant noisy gearwheel. What a classy fun -- especially with this sign shortly before ("last floor - continuation safe").


Sunday, July 01, 2007

Stuck but Smart -- SMS

Oh no--I'm stuck at Rome airport with an important oral exam tomorrow (at Paris).
Nevertheless, I was lucky enough to have a little insight. Maybe everybody already knows, but you know the classic text message sound? bipbipbip beeep beeep bipbipbip. I wondered who would invent such a crap. After some thinking I came to the conclusion that it must be morse for S-M-S (compare S-O-S): ... -- ...
Cool, ain't it?!
I wish I would be as cool as the insight.
Keep your fingers crossed.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Rocket Science @ MIT : Ali Rahimi's Aluminium Foil Helmets (a link by Carl)

There is this guy called Ali Rahimi who works on computer vision and who seems to be a funny guy.
At least he conducted this great piece of scientific research "On the Effectiveness of Aluminium Foil Helmets" : Using a 250,000$ network analyzer he concluded that the government started the aluminium foil helmet craze to gain access to peoples heads/brains.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Chromeo, the Hoff, Baden vs. Swabia

Long time no (real) post, but I had to finish my mémoire.
So the Chromeo concert in Berlin (1st concert in Germany ever!) got canceled cause Dave1 had an eye disease. Hope he'll get better, soon -- and that the alternate concert will take place when I'm there.

Some tiny random links accumulated over the last weeks:

Thursday, June 21, 2007

GP's Worldwide Festival 2007 and 2008

As announced last night on his show, the Worldwide Festival website is finally online.
The most important information: Festival pass for 3 days is 43 € and there will be 5 (!) WWFs in 2008:
  • In 2006: Sete (France)
  • In 2007: London, Shanghai and Sete
  • In 2008: London, Beijing, Tokyo, Frankfort and Sete.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Bruce Sterling and Mercedes Bunz at Elektrischer Reporter

For some months now I have been watching the geeky "Elektrischer Reporter" online (sorry--80% in German). It features a weekly interview on the future of the internet and the technologization of society, topics I feel (urged to be) interested in and I've been posting about in the past.
Yesterday, I watched the interview with scifi author Bruce Sterling who, after some rather boring first minutes, said some very relevant things on topics that were--to questionable extent--also discussed at the G8 summit.
Today, however, I watched the interview with mind-boggling Mercedes Bunz who, in addition to having a great name, has a lot of very smart things to tell.
I recommend everybody (who understands German) to watch her 10 minute interview.

Monday, June 04, 2007

125th Birthday of Karl Valentin - Wrdlbrmpfd

On June 4, 1882, the great German comedian Karl Valentin was born (died Feb 9, 1948). Based in Munich, he produced great 'miniatures' for the visual, auditory and audiovisual media. The New York Magazine called him "the Charlie Chaplin of Munich Dadaists".
His humor is hard to describe and sometimes not so easily accessible. Check out his official website (with example media), when you're in Munich: his great Karl Valentin Musäum in the Isartor, and the example short cuts (one, two & three) available on spiegel.de (who reminded me of his greatness).

I guess in some upcoming posts I will mention some other great German comedians...

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Cool Common - Goodies and Video

I just posted it two weeks ago: the new Common album 'Finding Forever' will be out, soon (mid July).
The single 'The People' can be heard on his myspace site and now the new video of 'The Game' has been put up online.



Furthermore, the frequency of Common news on the Okayplayer board and in the forums is increasing. There you can download for example a great sampler called Cool Common Collected with rare Common tracks and remixes.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Sonntagnachmittag Guestmix Japanese Invasion

Remember? I already posted a couple of times on the web radio project sonntagnachmittag by ink on hunderttausend.de, including when I contributed my own guestmix SundaySoothinMusic last fall.
There is a new guestmix called Japanese Invasion up on the web by Tokyo correspondent Steven.
It features a nice cross-section through epochs and genres of Japanese music. You can access it by clicking on the link just below the picture.

The playlist:
01 Unknown – Japanese Invasion
02 Soil&"Pimp" Sessions – Summer Goddess
03 Akiko Wada – Tsurete-tte, dokomademo
04 Thelonious Monk – Kojo no Tsuki (Japanese Folk Song)
(Controversial Remix feat. Nietzsche and Ezra Pound)
05 The Peanuts – Kakao no Hitomi
06 Crazy Ken Band – Tiger&Dragon
07 Pepe California – Blitzkrieg Bop
08 Honeyside
09 Finger Five – I Want You Back
10 Chitose Hajime – Sangojyuugoya
11 Lina – Toki ni wa
12 Ambivalence – What's da Deal feat. Phife Dawg
13 Minjah – Enrai
14 Punch the Monkey! – Lupin III. Theme

---
...My absolute favorite is--by the way--Chitose Hajime's Sangojyuugoya directly after the Jackson 5 remake.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Photolog pt. VII - Rural Street Art - Fleury-Les-Aubrais Graffiti

I don't know why but I recently enjoyed these pieces of rural street art in the at least a little bit picturesque village of Fleury-Les-Aubrais. Got no clue why... maybe because rural street art is almost an oxymoron--I might wanna call it rurban art: rural art with urban influences.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Neuroscience Videos - Pacman Bonobos and Boxing Brains

Everybody is interested in the brain, because everybody has one.

Recently, I stumbled over two both interesting and entertaining videos from the realm of understandable neuroscience:

--Steven brought this 25 minute TED talk by Susan Savage-Rumbaugh to my attention. Of course the filming is very selective, choosing the brighter moments of her Bonobo cohort, but I consider it a fascinating approach to try to embed non-human primates into--appropriate--human environments and to see how far their abilities go.



--This violent National Geographic animation gives an explanation for the legendary one-punch knockout with reference to cerebral trauma. Remark the dramatic voice and the scary burping sound effects when the brain hits the skull. Mortal Kombat neurology.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Kepos/Polis - The De-Cosumption Diaries

In the 'whereabouts of mankind' series, I stumbled over a nice fresh blog called Kepos/Polis - The De-Consumption Diaries.
It's about a self experiment in which the author's aim is to "use easily accessible information to help [...] decide what to buy/support and what not, as well as how to change [...] behaviour for the good of de-consumption."
He or she is gonna do so with one constraint that's as plausible as necessary: No ideologies!
I'm looking forward to seeing where it goes and grows.

Monday, May 21, 2007

French Rap : Hocus Pocus - HipHop?

Has HipHop been back all the time and it was just my negligence?
Check out this intelligent track simply called "HipHop" by the French crew Hocus Pocus featuring The Procussions, an LA-based rap combo that is signed to Rawkus.

Hip Hop? feat The Procussions

Sunday, May 20, 2007

GP's Worldwide Festival Going Truly Worldwide

Almost every day there is an update on the official website of the Worldwide Festival, and most recently it has been revealed that there gonna be three (!) WWFs this year:
  • 3 days in Shanghai, May 31-June 2, 2007
  • 3 days in Sète, Southern France, July 12-14, 2007
  • a WWF in London this October 2007
Next year there will be nine, the year after 27 and so forth. Slowly the WWF will take over the world.
Kudos to Gilles Peterson!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Heavy Rotation Daytrade - Manual last.fm

Jus' quickly: I decided to introduce something like a manual last.fm section just below the blogroll. These are tracks I consider interesting at the moment and that are on heavy rotation on my different soundsystems. I try to add them as .mp3 files as long as they are freely available on the net--if not, I'll give links to the myspace pages.

Check out the contagious new Roisin Murphy track Overpowered to be officially released on July 1st.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Sarkomence - Phonological Nicolas Sarkozy Wordplay

Yes, there has been a lot of anti-Sarkozy movement going on ever since his election a week ago.
I don't like the ridiculous Nazi-Sarkozy wordplays that are (not only) much too easy, but there is one I really dig: Sarkomence -
Especially funny, cause at the moment I am heavily working on phonological processing, and Sarkomence's phonological equivalent (for all you non-French speakers) would be "ça recommence" ("It's starting again").
It's been used in combination with all kinds of negative concepts, such as the "Etat Flic" ("Cop State"), etc.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Understandable Neuroscience--Le Cerveau à Tous les Niveaux/The Brain from Top to Bottom

In the posting series of Understandable Neuroscience (you might remember the Art&Brain lectures, Pinky and Brain's Neuroanatomy song, or the Mouse Drug Party), I disovered a fascinating website constructed by--beloved--McGill University called Le Cerveau à Tous les Niveaux / The Brain from Top to Bottom.
It is available in English and in French (Montréal!) and it has these gorgeous options of adjusting your level of expertise (Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced) and the level of explanation (Molecular, Cellular, Cerebral, Psychological, Social). It neatly sheds light on phenomena such as memory, the senses, pain, movement, sleep, language, emotions, mental disorders, (sexy) consciousness, and many more (see site plan).
Great stuff! Truly "Brain and Mind', extremely comprehensive and comprehensible--plus nicely flash animated.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Photolog pt. VI - X-Large FR-EE 1974 - Berlin

X-Large FR-EE 1974 -
Mobile Photos @ Berlin 2006

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Nicolas Sarkozy a/k/a Kaiser Soze Goin' Street-Style Santa Claus

It's one hour before the results will be published, but I guess there's just no way around: Nicolas Sarkozy, also known as Kaiser Soze, will be the next French president. Here's a video of him voting today. Pay attention to the scene when he wants to shake the hand of some other guy in front of dozens of photographers, the other guy doesn't notice it, and Sarko/Soze goes street style in Neuilly-sur-Seine: "ey! ho hoo".



--
Addendum 8:02pm: So now it's official--Kaiser Soze b/eats the Little Red Riding Hood (quote Antoine)
Vive la France !

Ink.Mail @ Berlin Available Online

Ink just moved to Berlin and decided to make his irregularly published ink.mail newsletter inkmail available online at http://inkmail.blogspot.com/. Just as the two issues of his ink magazine, ink.mail will contain lotsa observations and contemplations. Even though the language is (still) German, he will be added to the blogroll (for all ye German readers out there).

Saturday, May 05, 2007

GP's Worldwide Festival 2007 - 1st Lineup

Oooh yes. Second good news of the day:
The lineup for this year's Worldwide Festival starts to be compiled and published.
On July 12-14, 2007, in Southern France, there will be at least Questlove, Sebastien Tellier, Jazzanova, RJD2, DJ Mitsu the Beats, Âme, and Simbad.
I'm sure Gilles Peterson invited some great additional acts - so they'll show up as special guests. I'll definitely be there.

Chromeo - Fancy Footwork, coming soon

Great news:
Chromeo, the guys I mentioned several times before, will release their new album Fancy Footwork, soon.
Release dates seem to be: Canada - May 8, Australia - May 18, Europe - June 18, UK - July 3, USA - July 24.
So I gotta use my Canada connections to get it earlier.
Plus, they will be on the road: a small tour in Europe in May (London, Barcelona, etc.), North America after.
Check out their myspace site for a preview track and also a gorgeous Feist remix.

Friday, May 04, 2007

May 2007 - Beatboxing Kitchen (link by Francois)

Nice- April 2007 brought as many hits as never as well as as many posts as never.
Here's a new "video rigolo" discovered by Francois. Not much to comment on--jus' keep klickin'.


--
Added comment: Incredible, isn't it? We were discussing if it's dubbed. What do you think?
It reminds me of Matthew Herbert's Plat du Jour album that was produced exclusively with sounds from a kitchen. Furthermore, I met a "culinary decorator" a couple of days ago who told me that she loves kitchens. What is it about them? I don't even have one...

Added comment 2: In this respect, check out this most amazing video by Matthew Herbert and Big Band. Great guy!

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Photolog pt. V - Berlin Off The Cuff

Finally managed to make my cellphone and my computer like each other.
I thereby discovered lots of photos I shot during the last two years. Most of them have this nice "cool cowboy style" that you can only get by off the cuff shots with crappy cellphone cams. I'll post some of my favorite ones--such as this somewhat mystic Berlin shot from 2005/6.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Linguistic History - Noam Chomsky's Thesis Draft

Wow--160-something posts and not even a single linguistics tag.
After I have been fed up a little bit with theoretical linguistics after having written my BSc thesis on what I would like to call Linguistic Neuroscience, I am currently regaining confidence and I think that at least basic linguistic concepts are useful in research on the Neuroscience of Language.
Material:
  1. Present & Future: Gregory Hickok's and David Poeppel's review in the brandnew Nature Reviews Neuroscience May 2007
  2. Past: Noam Chomsky's original thesis draft has been digitalized and can be downloaded at http://alpha-leonis.lids.mit.edu/chomsky/ (be aware: 919 pages, 439 mb, Chomskian writing)

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Ratatouille Movie - Pixar in Paris

"An original in a season of repeats" was the NYTimes title about the new Pixar movie Ratatouille [rat-a-too-ee] that seems to be based on the simply elegant and elegantly simple idea of being a gourmet rat in Paris ("shut up and eat your trash").
Loooooovin' it already (sortie le 29 juin).
Check out the trailer and the teaser on their website.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Photolog pt. IV - German Blossom

That's how the southern German something blossom looks like. Taken a week ago.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Dancin': Funky Chicken, Boogaloo and James Brown (1978)

What I have been occupied with lately:
Paradoxically, I have been theorizing about the art of dance and its potential of expression which has to be split up in an external and an internal aspect. But 'nuff of that...
Furthermore, I have been digitizing musical art from the 1970's and 80's in order to make a new Funktape this summer (the last one has been in 2004).
The two threads converge in the following video on the dancing of James Brown--check out especially the guy explaining the styles (Camel Walk, Funky Chicken, etc.) from minute 2:00 onwards. Great stuff!

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Internet Nostalgia and Digital Timetravel

Bizarre--
I'm getting nostalgia feelings using the Wayback Machine to timetravel the internet.
Apparently since the late 1990's archive.org backupped the whole internet every 2 months.
Now you can use the Wayback Machine to surf the homepages from back in the days when 28.8K was the standard and the funny squirking sound of the fax modem indicated the opening of the digital door to the world.

At least some of the ancient websites still exist...
Ahh-- the first announcement of seminal Lyricist Lounge Vol. I on the Rawkus Website in May 1998.

--
Addendum 19 04 2007: Just heard on Gilles' Show that Rawkus is indeed back. Watch out!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Familiar Voices - Classic HipHop is Back 2007

It feels good, so I have to blog about it immediately:
I could comment several pages on this track but I'll keep to the modern info-in-digestible-chunks paradigm.

Kanye West
, Rakim, KRS One, and Nas are rapping on a dope DJ Premier beat on the brandnew oldschool track "Classic".
I'm not sure what Kanye is doing on there but it were probably his manager qualities who brought these allstars together. Primo at his best, Rakim, KRS, and Nas shining like back in the days. Still, they've (we've) all visibly gotten older...
Check out especially the nice intro and the great a-cappella sections in the video.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Photolog pt. III - Insight Outside Paris

This time a rather unusual view on Paris. Rather feels like some other country or city but you may recognize the silhouette of Sacre Coeur (cf. Photolog pt. I) on the horizon. Shot a week ago. Now you can decide-- does it look nicer from afar or from close by?

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

25th Anniversary of Knight Rider - K.I.T.T. for Sale

David Hasselhoff already appeared twice on this blog: 12 months and 5 months ago.
"Looking for freedom" (check out the "Top Kitsch" video below) evokes lots of cosy memories of my childhood, just as does accidentally watching an episode of Knight Rider.
In fact, 2007 will be the 25th anniversary of Knight Rider, which may be why one of the four K.I.T.T. Pontiac Trans Ams used to shoot the series is currently for sale (for 149,995$).

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Simpsons History of Mind and Matter

"What is mind? No matter!
What is matter? Never mind!"

Classic (apparently) 1st Simpsons episode and therefore Bart Simpson's first words ever prove he's a cognitive neuroscientist.
Homer's first words however, prove he's a (cognitive) nihilist.
But that's why we love him.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Happy Easter, Everybody

(\ /)
(. .)
c(")(")

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Stunning Future - Wireless Plugs and Light-controlled Neurons

Another post in the speculative future row:
  • The Canadian start-up Powercast supposedly developed the technology for wireless power supply via radio frequency waves. It's supposed to be accomplished with relatively little energy loss and it would totally revolutionize the handling of portable devices. Furthermore, they already have a deal with Philips.
  • In Neuroscience (according to a recent article in Nature, indicated to me by Carl), a German-American team managed to switch on and (now) off neurons with light. This truly has the potential to change the whole neuroscientific methodological apparatus (even in the realm of the philosophy of neuroscience, finally introducing a more direct causality) and it could have major impact on clinical applications. "Our new mastery of neural circuits using light might thus eventually allow us to master our own brains — and behaviour (last sentence of the review by Häusser & Smith, 2007, Nature 446, 617-619)". Let's hope for the best.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Zehn Hoch, Powers of Ten (1977)

One of my--maybe even *the*--favorite short film of all times is called 'Zehn Hoch' in German and 'Powers of Ten' in English. It circulated before the era of video hosting platforms and I just came to think of it recently. So I looked it up and found several versions.
The two greatest ones are the original German dubbed version, apparently produced in 1977 by the Eames Office for IBM, and the ingenious Simpsons Intro mocking it (see below). Furthermore, but only in one direction, there is an IMAX remake called 'Cosmic Voyage' with the voice of Morgan Freeman and--of course--the Terry Pratchett-like outro of 'Men in Black'.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Maurits Cornelis Hammer Video Train of Thought

This Family Guy snippet is by far the funniest implementation of the old wordplay with Maurits Cornelis Escher's initials M.C.



Another one I recently thought about is the self-disqualifying rapper a/k/a "MC Square'"derived from Einstein's monster formula "E=mc^2", which, by the way, is also the song title of a great Common feature on last year's post-mortem J Dilla album The Shining, which, by the way, got number 2 of the Worldwide Show All Winner albums of the year 2006, which, by the way, just introduced a quarterly All Winners feature, that was broadcasted last week, and which you can still listen to online.

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Here's the link to the original MC "balloony pants" Hammer "U Can't Touch This" music video.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Photolog pt. II - Cherry Blossom 2007 (by Steven)

This blog's second Cherry Blossom is blessed with original photos by Tokyo correspondent Steven. Check out also the photos in this article (forget about the text).
Relatedly, also check out mamagoto's great design and illustration work.

Saturday, March 31, 2007

Hermeto Pascoal Lagoon Extended Version

As it fell into my high-frequency posting period some people may not have paid full attention to my post on this great musician that goes by the name of Hermeto Pascoal. Here is a version of his Lagoon Nature Funk Jazz Performance that is extended by a two minute waterdrum session. Unbelievably good!

Friday, March 30, 2007

Photolog pt. I - Sacre Coeur 2007 (copyright Fine)

Somebody told me Sacre Coeur looks nicer from afar than from standing next to it.
I think this picture taken by Fine would state otherwise.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Do It Yourself (DIY) - Cute Knut Homemade

With all the hype on Cute Knut the polar baby in the Berlin Zoo and the sunny weather outside I feel like being close to the summer slump.
In order to better build your own polar bear costume at home get inspired by this guy named Geoffrey Cottenceau.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Missing Berlin - Alec Wowereit

I noticed I'm really missing Berlin when I went to see Martin Scorsese's The Departed the other day and I couldn't help thinking about Berlin's mayor Klaus Wowereit every time Alec Baldwin turned up on the screen as "foul-mouthed inspector Ellerby".

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Post #150: Dynamics, Year Cycles, Multitouch Displays

A year ago I posted something on multitouch displays. Now I stumbled over a very similar presentation found on zedomax.com.
Funnily enough, compared to the original demo, the most impressive enhancement within these twelve months has been the web interface to present the videos online. Nah--jus' kiddin'...
also the music got a little bit more ambient and future-like.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

"Post-", X, Heroes, and Savants

I admire the prefix "post-". Is it classy to claim to be "post-something", e.g. for one's band to play post-rock music, or for one's art to be post-modern? Does it mean that rock music and modern art has been overcome and should therefore be abandoned? I dunno...

Anyways--
I came to watch some episodes of Heroes.
Just as Family Guy is post-Simpsons, Heroes is post-X-Files and post-X-Men.

In principle, Heroes is about the not so original theme of some genetic mutation that allows more or less random people to have superpowers.

As you probably know, savants (i.e., people with extraordinary mental abilities) are a popular topic of TV documentaries and even cinema movies.
So funnily, I also saw a well-made Channel five documentary on number savant Daniel Tammet, who, unlike most other savants, is not obviously socially handicapped and can report on his experiences (found on the Developing Intelligence Blog). The broadcast bears the catchy title "the boy with the incredible brain" and its length is 48 minutes -- just as long as one episode of Heroes.



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Addendum: Wow... As if Tatsuya Ishida magically has read my mind, I stumbled over this great sinfest strip.

Addendum II: Ah yeah, I just noticed how repetitive this blog is: Vilayanur S. Ramachandran shows up in the documentary, too.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Per Anhalter durchs Web 2.0 (German) + Apple Ad (English)

The longer post in preparation has to wait-- this overview over Web 2.0 found on spreeblick is just too funny to be missed (in German only).
--
And for English readers to laugh about something:
This apple ad on family holidays (but don't forget).

Monday, March 12, 2007

Hilarious Indexed Blog


I already told you about Jessica Hagy's gorgeous blog some weeks ago. But I can't emphasize enough how great her work is.
Furthermore, she recently got a book deal and there is this nice new video by a guy called Clemes Kogler who neatly animated her index cards.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

As Announced on Thursday's WWShow: Hermeto Pascoal

On Thursday, Gilles Peterson mentioned Hermeto Pascoal, a freaky but ingenious Brazilian composer who "uses nature as a basis for his compositions" and who played with Miles Davis.
Since man's (lost) closeness to nature is a recent recurring theme, I thought, I'd post on Hermeto.
Check out his gorgeous 10 minute gig on the Montreux Jazz Festival 1979 (upper video), which might be hard to follow if you're not into this kind of music.
The funnier 'close to nature' clip, that was also announced by Gilles, is the lower one with him and six other half naked men playing water-filled bottles in a lagoon.



Thursday, March 08, 2007

Revisited: Lacquer -- Behind, LAX2NYC in 4 min.

The high-speed "Paris in a car" movie made me remember an ancient post from a year ago. The Lacquer music video directed by Michel Gondry, which, this time by time lapse, let's you cross the USA in 4 minutes. Plus there is cool music.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

C'était un Rendez-Vous - Visit Paris in 8 Minutes (a link by Steven)

Visit Paris in 8 minutes getting a high-speed headache.
This short movie is called "C'était un Rendez-Vous" and was shot in 1979. A cool commentary-revisited-making-of hybrid is also available.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Understandable Neuroscience--Art and Brain

Linking two of the last three posts, satisfying people who are interested in neuroscience:

The New York Academy of Sciences hosted a conference with the title "From Mirror Neurons to the Mona Lisa [who, by the way, the French call 'La Joconde']".
Interestingly, they put audiovisual recordings of the presentations online:
Thus, for example Margaret Livingstone, an important researcher in the visual domain who has worked together with 1981 Nobel laureate David Hubel, gave a lecture entitled what art can tell us about the brain (directly to the presentation), artist Deborah Sperber, doing something like 3D Op-Art, presented her work, and entertaining Vilayanur S. Ramachandran out of San Diego, talked about Synesthesia and the Universal Principles of Art (directly to the audioslides).

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Monday, February 26, 2007

Corrections-- Apple Inc. and Gainsbarre Badass

There are two corrections to make:
One: if, in the past two months, I left the impression that I am promoting Apple Inc. products, I have to correct myself: As well-devised their gadgets may be, I have been told that the Apple customer service sucks, as they put much more energy and money in recruiting new customers.
Two, Serge Gainsbourg was not only the French chansonnier with the golden voice but--mainly in his later years--he was also a real badass.
One of the most famous moments in French TV is Serge Gainsbourg intimidating Whitney Houston in a 1986 live show (see below) as well as insulting Catherine Ringer, the singer from the French band Les Ritas Mitsuoku.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Neuroscience -- Mouse Party & ScienceBlogs

As I got several feedback comments from people showing interest in neuroscientific topics:
There is this funny but educational flash animation which explains the neuropharmacological effects of drugs.
And then there is a huuge network of blogs on neuroscientific matters on all levels (molecular vie cognitive up to social): The ScienceBlogs Brain & Behavior channel with several new posts a day. The quality of the blogs is usually very high, some treating their topics in a rather popular, some in a more scientifically dry way.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Part 2: Kevin Kelly's Cool Tools and the Wholearth Catalog

...so in Das Netz (see below) there is a part on Stewart Brand, his Wholeearth Catalog, and his grasp on the determination of technological development.
Steven sent me this more recent video URL which includes Stewart Brand and a presentation of how the Wholeearth Catalog is a forefather of Wired magazine, one of the print media heavily related to the rise of the internet.
Involved in both magazines was a guy named Kevin Kelly who also appears in the video.
So one of the purposes of the Wholeearth Catalog was to facilitate "access to tools" in order to allow the individuum to easily express itself. The exact meaning of this principle might have changed over time but it aimed at individual freedom which is closely related to individual responsibility-- and that's where this post approaches last week's religion post and the current debate on man's negative impact on planet earth.

The website I originally wanted to present is Kevin Kelly's Cool Tools section, supposedly a modern, internet-compatible version of the Wholeearth Catalog. It reminds me a little bit of manufactum minus most of the nostalgic component.

There's lots of useful tools to discover--
So stay, be or get responsible!

Saturday, February 17, 2007

The Religion Debate and the Camping Trinity

The discussion on the alleged clash of civilizations after 9/11 triggered the inter-denominational part of the debate, while maybe the German origin of the current pope added the intra-denominational dimension. In any case, at least in the German media a big debate on religion has been going on for a while, which for example treats the role of religion nowadays, the outfit of modern christianity, the relation of religion and science etc.
See for example
However, my favorite contribution to the debate comes from a website I recently discovered through the well-formed-data.net blog: The indexed blog, a wonderfully creative capture of life, ingeniously depicts the problem of the holy trinity.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Part 1: Watch Das Netz (2004) Online

The string of events that led me to a website I wanna present was the following:

Back during my undergraduate studies there was a media art festival in town, so we went to see a documentary movie that - by the way - won the first prize without even being a runner up.
This movie was called Das Netz (directed by Lutz Dammbeck) and gave me/us a whole lotta food for thought.
In case you can spare 2 hours, watch it online (with English subtitles). It identifies links between a lot of things (the UNA bomber, the internet, the macy conferences, cybernetics etc.), it features ideological commentaries on the freedom of information and on life in a non-technological world, and it includes interviews with some great people, for example Heinz von Foerster. Leaving aside the fact that it's sometimes a little bit too close to conspiracy theories and its being too deep and too shallow at the same time, it's an interesting documentary.

...to be continued

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Serge Gainsbourg Himself

Salut tout le monde,
Just a quick post about a French idol:
Great guy, Serge Gainsbourg, gorgeous song, poinçonneur des lilas (see below), even more relaxed interview on Quebecian television (part 1 and part 2).


Monday, February 05, 2007

We are the Web 2.0 -- The Machine is Us

Most of you already know that Time Magazine chose You as the person of the year. As might have become apparent in previous posts, I am amateurishly interested in questions like:
Where is the internet going? How will computing be integrated into daily life? How does machinization change our way of thinking?
"Keine Zukunft ohne Herkunft" (lit. "no future without provenance")--
On the very technophile zedomax blog I discovered this well-produced video on the development of the web by Michael Wesch, an assistant professor in Cultural Anthropology at Kansas State. Enjoy (even though the music sucks)!



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Addendum: I have to add the comment that was just posted on youtube by a user named theeastvillage: "...Although there is no doubt that sharing information changes attitudes, you must remember that Web 2.0 is not run by you or for you.
Web 2.0 is system of people who have tuned their money making minds to the needs of the masses...."

Friday, February 02, 2007

Gilles Peterson and Ben Westbeech in Paris, Homecookin' & DeepSoul3

Ben Westbeech, his band, and of course Gilles were incredibly good. I had an extraordinary evening. Ben seems to be a really nice guy (watch out for his LP dropping next month), the club had a decent sound, and the crowd was in a good mood.
Nevertheless, I would have wished for a little less hard-to-dance-to Brazilian music, Gilles. Apart from that, the transition from Alice Coltrane via some HipHop classics, Funk and Samba over Soil and Pimp to close with Minimal and House-- what can I say?!

Plus, Ichi.One's latest Homecookin' guestmix for DeepSoul3 is perfect, and the 4hero LP is out and superbe... Musically, 2007 starts off as a good year.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Old School B-Boying & Grandmaster Mele Mel

Just to continue some older posts:
On the one hand there have been some posts on B-Boying, such as the one on the crazy styles of Elsewhere or on a pop-locking competition in Paris.

On the other hand some Old-School discussion and media, such as the Newcleus video two months ago.

Furthermore, you know I am a fan of music (that sounds like) from the end of the 70s / beginning of the 80s, such as DJ Mehdi or Chromeo.

Now, there is this German guy who has a weird Old-School fan page, but who also has a mad collection of old HipHop videos, some of which he put up on youtube.
Among others Breakmachine with Streetdance (compare to DJ Mehdi's "I am somebody")

Another highlight is this interview with crazy "Muscle" Grandmaster Mele Mel, who, by the way, just started another embarrassing come back (two years ago Boris and I went to a rather disappointing concert by the Furious Five in Montreal-- ever since, I think they should retire...)

Monday, January 29, 2007

Television is Revolving -- Simplicity Sells

Just as the introduction of German Rap Music paralleled the one of its American predecessor (Die Fantastischen Vier ten years after the Sugarhill Gang), the online development of audio-visual media repeats the course of audio files:

First music files became easily downloadable, then podcasts revolutionized the radio in disposing it of the inappropriate dependence on a certain time of consumption, and allowing everybody (with internet access) to make their own broadcast.

Also due to increasing bandwidth, shortly after, the same has been happening with movies and TV broadcasts. In itself nothing new-- youtube, google video and myspace have been known for a while. Now, however, a crucial point has been reached: every single day there are breaking news on new IP.TV stations, apple launched apple TV, google bought youtube, and, whether the spreading videos on google TV are a hoax or not, google is--rather sooner than later--gonna hop on the internet TV train.

A propos: Watch brilliant David Pogue making a point for simplicity, and thus for apple, at the TED conference, provided by google video.