Stephen Fry on the iPad

Read what Stephen Fry has to say about the iPad.

Why should one pay attention to what an actor, author and technophile thinks about the objet du jour? Because he’s good.


E-Snub: Oh How Delicious

I just read this brilliant article about the E-Snub in the New York Times. Ah, how I smiled and  how I wish I had the balls to do the same as the author,  Neal Hirschfeld.

In the last few months I have been interviewing for jobs and I experienced a similar situation as Hirschfeld recounts, that is, of putting forth some considerable effort in the application and interview process and then being left hanging by the HR department. No email, no phone call – nothing. What’s more is that I have actually seen in person several of the people that I interviewed with and they act as though everything is hunky-dory.

I really shouldn’t expect much from this company anyway. In the emails that I HAVE gotten from them, the HR recruiter consistently spells my name wrong.

Details, details, details.

Words and Personal Meaning

I love words. Always have. Sometimes I’m pretty good at using them, other times, not so much. I find myself without them or afraid to use them. More on that later.

Here, though, I find that certain words DO have the ability to put me in a frame of mind that nudges me toward creating the situations that I want and need. When I feel bad, I usually find myself saying words to myself that continue to convince myself that I feel bad. My stomach hurts and then I hear in my head the words being spoken to myself, “I don’t feel good…my tummy hurts!” If I change my inner monologue the bad banana might still be sitting in my tummy, reminding me that it’s there, but I DO begin to feel better.

If I start the day with words like “great,” “beautiful,” “abundance,” or “pancakes!” I usually have a great, beautiful, abundant day…and I get to have PANCAKES! So, what about using these little sound tools called “words” to start making the day, the string of days, the experience of life, a whole lot better?

I don’t particularly think of myself as an advocate of the “new age,” because many of the ideas of that movement are quite old and have been in use for hundreds and thousands of years. Instead, I think that to discount any philosophy because of the clothing the media has dressed it in is silly or unfashionable is a disservice to ones self and to the realm of ideas in general. Embrace what works, and don’t assume that something doesn’t work because you think it is silly or “unscientific.”

That being said, I do believe that thoughts become things, especially if action is taken. As the African proverb states, “When you pray, remember to move your feet.” And there are some very good words to use when one prays, or meditates, or affirms, or just talks.

30 Power Words To Activate Intention Setting

I believe in words. They are tools that can change the world. The are powerful tools, but they cannot change the world just by being spoken. They must be accompanied by action.  Say to yourself, ” I live a wonderful, happy and abundant life,” and then go make it happen.

A Close Shave

Okay – are you one of those folks that thinks that “it’ll never happen to me“? Here are some images that, okay, I was going to say that they will make a believer out of you, but the images are not that spectacular unless you know what they are and actually have enough spare synapses to rub together to realize what it means. They are images of an asteroid that zoomed really close to Earth. Big chunk o’ rock n’ stuff that is flying without a pilot through space and nearly misses our home in this big ol’ void.

Asteroid in Near Earth Space

I think it’s amazing that our technology is capable of doing thing greater than just devising methods of sending 140 character memos about what we had for lunch (along with a picture!) to anyone that has a computer, but that this knowledge is being used for some important things. And this brings me to a point: funding for science and NASA in particular.

Sure, going to the moon again doesn’t sound like an overtly important thing. Yes, the International Space Station seems more like an off shore Russian resort with a gazillion dollar price tag and, well, why can’t NASA’s Space Shuttle program (on it’s deathbed it seems,) why can’t our shuttles be more like the shuttle crafts in Star Trek?

Well, those things could change if we gave some money to the agency that brought us the hope of these things in the first place. Technology, the current darling of American Pop culture, that element that enables us to tweet and text, get nipped and tucked, oogle blue aliens in 3-D and hear electro dance beats in Surround Sound, these wonders are a part of our world because of science and exploration. NASA has long been at the forefront of such endeavors and the science that they championed has opened the doors to the future of medicine, communications and powdered citrus flavored breakfast drinks.

So, before a real armageddon comes knocking at our celestial door, let’s support the folks who could make a difference. Funding for NASA and other scientific research projects is our best hope, and it makes quite a bit more sense than doomed from the git go nation building…

Back to the Music

It’s early in the week and there are all sorts of things that I will be plowing through in the next few days, but I wanted to start on a fresh note – pardon the pun.

I began working on some new ideas for a performance piece about arts and the artist and the relationship with contemporary culture. One of the elements might be the performance of a piece of auto-generated music. The iPhone has several apps that use this idea, that with the proper programming, a sound generator can create a never ending stream of seemingly random sounds that are pleasant and qualify, perhaps, as “music.” Brian Eno has been involved in the creation of two of those apps, namely “Bloom” and “Trope” and he is credited with inspiring a third, “Air.” Each of the apps can be set to generate music on their own or take input from the user.

My idea was to use these apps in a live performance, allowing the players to interact as they desired and otherwise allowing the program to generate the sounds. These three apps would be running simultaneously and the application screen would be projected above the player.

The technical aspects of how to actually perform the music is pretty simple, but perhaps not too easy, but my first concern was whether or not it would sound good. Thus, I created Ambienteno, a piece for three iPhone apps. It is long, about 27 minutes, but illustrates that the generative music applications can produce engaging, yet maybe not thrilling musical experiences.

Ambienteno by StuartDMT

Ambienteno – music for 3 iPhone apps by Stuart Dummit

I will be using this and another track of similar origin to create the next DES Podcast, due out this week. More information on the performance piece that I’m working on as ideas develop.

The New Year

Here we are in 2010… okay. I’m a bit late with getting this one up. Sorry.

Here we are in 2010. Much is happening, much has happened. Here’s a summary of the last few weeks:

It seems as though talks with Cerner regarding a job have fallen through. They made a verbal “soft” offer, stating that they would send me an official offer in the mail. The salary was way low for what they were wanting from me and I told them that. I never received the mailed offer.

I found a tumor on Max’s leg and took him to the vet who suggested that it be removed because he couldn’t get a good needle biopsy. The evening before he was to go and have the tumor taken off, I found another one in his ear. The vet removed both and a few days later I got the news that they were benign. I am a relieved daddy.

I applied for and was interviewed twice for a job as a Multimedia Specialist for the University of Missouri Health Care Marketing Department. I haven’t heard the outcome of this one, but there is another candidate who is younger and has had more formal computer education than me. I still would make the better choice because of my years of experience, but it isn’t my call. The interviews went well, as far as I can tell. I will be applying for a position as a Revenue Cycle Trainer at the hospital soon.

I’ve started work on some new projects involving music and theater. Also, I am scheduling some solo performances for late January and February.

I added a “Lists” page here, you can access it via the menu up top. It’s far from complete, but it’s an easy way to find out what I like and don’t like.

The 4th episode of the Dangerous Enlightenment Podcast will be up and available soon. Most likely within the next week. It is a single, long and somewhat soothing ambient work. Episode 5 will be dance beats and the 6th and final episode has yet to be figured out. When complete, I’ll put together a 3-Disc package of the entire series.

By the way, here, in Columbia, Missouri, it’s really, really cold.

More later, troops!