And by long, I mean long, as in a musical composition able to last an entire millennium. Longplayer has created exactly that, with a composition that will last through the entire 2xxx's. From their overview on longplayer.org:
Longplayer is a one thousand year long musical composition. It began playing at midnight on the 31st of December 1999, and will continue to play without repetition until the last moment of 2999, at which point it will complete its cycle and begin again.
Accenture sued over website redesign so bad it Hertz:
Not my line, but I wish it was. Hat tip to The Register for the bon mot for their coverage of how badly Accenture performed on a website redesign for Hertz.
The article quotes from the lawsuit Hertz filed, noting ignored specs, ignored standards, and ignored best practices. But let's face it, the best part of the article was the headline.
Bring Your Dice To Work Day:
The latest section of the dungeon crawl that I am guest DM-ing in our weekly Wednesday lunch hour D&D session has a lot for the players to encounter:
It was a quiet week on the beer front with only one entry. Buzzsaw Mead from Tamarack Jack's was good, but not quite as good as their Sawyer Hopped Mead that I had last week. (3.5 / 5)
FOMO Defined in 1951:
Alan Watts published "The Wisdom of Insecurity" and defined what we crudely call FOMO or Fear of Missing Out:
There is the anxiety that one may be missing something, so that the mind flits nervously and greedily from one pleasure to another, without finding rest and satisfaction in any.
The video replay helped Spurs advance to the Champions League semi-final against Ajax. Plus the game had the four fastest goals in Champions League history at 11 minutes, so plenty of workday interruptions from my chirping phone.
On space exploration:
I'm reading "The Future of Humanity" by Michio Kaku. I have barely got past the history of human space programs and there are already three quotes of note.
Even today, commentators make mistakes about weightlessness, stating that it is caused by the absence of gravity in space. Actually, there is plenty of gravity in space, enough to whip giant planets like Jupiter around the sun. The experience of weightlessness is caused by the fact that everything falls at the same rate. So an astronaut inside the spaceship would fall at the same rate as his ship and experience the illusion that gravity has been turned off.
... we experience an extra millirem of radiation per hour in the jet, the equivalent of a dental X-ray every time we take a cross-country flight.
"The dinosaurs became extinct because they didn't have a space program. And if we become extinct because we don't have a space program, it'll serve us right." -- Larry Niven
Quite a few new beers this week, what with the days off. First, the Extra Special Monk from Blind Enthusiasm (3.5 / 5). Second, the Kettle Sour #1 from Blindman which I thought was going to be my highlight this week (3.75 / 5). However, I had a couple Grande Prairie brews this weekend that topped the Blindman offering. The Ale Spruced Up from Grain Bin was really refreshing (3.75 / 5), and the best of the week was the Sawyer Hopped Mead from Tamarack Jack (4.0 / 5). It is truly amazing what creative drinks can start from a base of water, barley, yeast, and hops.
People I know. In a commercial:
ATB has a series of 90 second commercials that highlight how they helped a family, an individual, or a business in Alberta. They are a decent enough series that I didn't give much thought to until I saw this one featuring a family I know from the taekwondo and jiujitsu crowd at Elite, and featured the ATB Arts & Culture Branch located in the CKUA building. That was enough for me take the whole series more seriously.
Two more interesting pieces this week on the ails of capitalism. The first was from a 60 Minutes interview with hedge-fund billionaire Ray Dalio. The first quote is more optimistic or at least more favourable for capitalism than many others of late.
Capitalism needs to be reformed. It doesn't need to be abandoned. (12' 23")
The second quote specifically regarding American capitalism is much less optimistic, and more in line with other sentiments.
"I don't think it is sustainable."
That's pretty heady stuff coming from a hedge-fund manager worth $18 billion.
The other source of negative sentiment towards capitalism was from the preface to the latest edition of Lapham's Quarterly. This issue is focused on Trade. The quarterly magazine is usually riddled with great articles, but typically my favorite part is Lewis Lapham's preface, and that was the case again in this issue.
Creativity as a Goal, not just as a way to make money:
There is more value to creativity and talent than just padding ones wallet. Or at least that is one of the central theses from the Freakonomics series on Creativity. The second part of the series featured some wonderful quotes from Wynton Marsalis. The best were two pieces of solid advice he received from his father (22' 50" and 25' 55"):
"All of everybody never does anything.”
"Don't adopt my prejudices, develop your own."
In other words, challenge those you make generalized statements, and experience the world for yourself before you decide what you like and don't like.
Stellar writing about a Black Hole:
Lots was said and tweeted about the composite photographic image released this week of the black hole. The best summary I read of the significance of the event was in The Atlantic by Marina Koren. The article, titled "An Extraordinary Image of the Black Hole at a Galaxy’s Heart" was filled with lots of facts - like the fact that this particular black hole at its center has a mass 6.5 billion times that of the sun - but it was extremely readable and it was easy to follow. Plus, checking out her Twitter profile revealed a great quote:
"Views expressed here are like black holes: they don't reflect anything."
Science humor for the win!
venerable (a word I had thought just meant "old")
cf. (as in the notation used in literary publications)
from Latin confer ‘compare’.
Kickstarters and fundraising for NFPs:
I have been gung-ho into role-playing games lately, and I backed four successful Kickstarter campaigns in the last month - Witch+Craft, Snowhaven, Welcome to Tikor, and Humblewood. Humblewood was by far the most successful, raising just over $1,000,000 USD. Being immersed in Kickstarter project updates for the last several weeks, I am intrigued by the direct-to-supporter model and level of engagement in a Kickstarter. If I have a few bucks to spare but cannot decide between a traditional fundraising campaign for a foundation or not-for-profit ("Call in now and have your credit card handy!") and a cool project where I will help unlock new content and will be able to engage with the creators, I can't see any reason to send my limited money to a traditional campaign.
Not-for-profits need to figure this out if they want to engage with potential supporters. A small company selling an add-on for an RPG can raise a million bucks, and that pile o' cash is cash and every other similar pile o' cash is money that the NFPs will never have access to if they maintain a dial-for-dollars mindset.
New beers this week:
The current tally is now up to 542 unique beers with the two additions this week. First, another new beer at Biera. The BRO is a brown ale, and I liked it more than most browns. Maybe a bit too much burnt nib taste, but it had a nice aroma and a great foamy head. (3.75 / 5) The only other new beer was the Hard Day IPA from Red Truck Beer. It had a lot of citrus, but I was distracted and didn't pay much attention, so it might have been better than I rated it. (3.25 / 5)
NATO Phonetic Alphabet:
For some reason, our family is often spelling things out with the "airplane alphabet", and we usually can't remember what U is (spoiler alert: Uniform). So here for reference and posterity, is the full NATO Phonetic Alphabet, courtesy of Wikipedia.
Ron's Hockey Night in AHS:
Ron Faryna is a neighbor and a co-worker who has sat about 50 paces from me since May of last year. He came up with the idea of playing ball hockey as part of the AHS 10 year anniversary celebration, which in itself is a great idea. Then he was diagnosed with cancer, and the great people at AHS pulled together a super fun event. Here are a couple tweets from the event.
I'm not crying, you're crying.
Luckily I wasn't bombarded by too many April Fool's jokes this year, but there are two items of note from April 1. First, this tweet sounds like a good idea, and likely foretells the future where drones dominate the sky.
Second, the bear in the Bing wallpaper of the day looked eerily like he was breaking the fourth wall. His smile and the look in his eyes makes me shudder. The rest of the images this week happily were not of sentient bears.
Writing is hard. Steeling oneself against anticipated criticism or rejection is even harder. However, I am confident that however poor my writing abilities are, I won't make most of the egregious errors listed in this article by OnSpec magazine Editor Barb Galler-Smith in any writing I submit to be published. Some of the more egregious mistakes make you wonder:
It seems I'm always behind watching any show, so no spoilers on Star Trek: Discovery, Critical Role, or the Chain of Acheron, please and thank you. Acoustic Tuesday is another on that list, but I am closer with AT than for most things I watch. AT is a weekly show about acoustic guitars and acoustic music, and it is something I really enjoy. Each week, Tony and Noah introduce at least one artist, and on AT #83 (from March 26 only! I'm not that far behind), the featured band was Mile Twelve, a five-piece bluegrass band. They have two albums, with their second album dropping just a few days ago. Check them out on a streaming service, or if you are in Calgary in August, they will playing at the Shady Grove Bluegrass Festival.
Also out this week is Gloria, the latest from The Lumineers, a surprisingly upbeat song considering the lyrics. It starts out with:
Gloria, I smell it on your breath
Gloria, booze and peppermint
and then ends with:
Gloria, there's easier ways to die
Gloria, have you had enough?
Not exactly light stuff.
Hotel Artemis is 94 minutes of cinematic beauty. Just don't try to make sense of the plot. It seemed like a B movie with an A list cast, but I still recommend it.
It is fruit beer season apparently, with two new brews this week. If these two are any indication, it will be a good year for fruit beers. First, Wizard's Revenge, a hazy IPA loaded with strawberry from New Level in Calgary (3.75 / 5). Next, two 250 mL glasses at Biera, including an English Ale with smoked peat (3.75 / 5) and an India Pale Lager (is that even a thing?) that was okay but not great. And finally, the latest find from Alley Kat, the Raspbeary Beret, full of bon mots and raspberry with a hearty serving of sour. Good stuff for sure. (4.0 / 5)