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.
  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 (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

I'm getting nostalgia feelings using the Wayback Machine to timetravel the internet.
Apparently since the late 1990's 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

(\ /)
(. .)

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.

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.