Archive for January, 2006

Obsesity due to a virus??

Monday, January 30th, 2006

New human virus linked to obesity in animals: "The nearly simultaneous increase in the prevalence of obesity in most countries of the world is difficult to explain by changes in food intake and exercise alone, and suggests that adenoviruses could have contributed," the authors state. "The role of adenoviruses in the worldwide ...

Sacred Harp at the Calvin Symposium on Worship

Saturday, January 28th, 2006

David W. Music of Baylor led a Sacred Harp workshop at the Calvin Symposium on Worship at Calvin College today. A good number of people where there-- a hundred or more, including very large alto and treble sections. They were good, experienced singers who, for the most part, were ...

Thursday, January 26th, 2006

We have a big demo next week that requires at least one rain-free morning on Tuesday or Wednesday, so I've been checking the weather forecasts. One thing I've learned is that the National Weather Service publishes 'forecast discussions.' These give the rationale for the government's weather forecasts. For example, from ...

Showers of Blessings: The [non-offensive] 23d Psalm

Thursday, January 26th, 2006

Heh: The [non-offensive] 23d Psalm

CSS tech note to self

Thursday, January 26th, 2006

<style type="text/css"> p { font-size: x-small; color: red } p { font-size: x-large; color: blue } </style> There are two CSS rules above. Which one should apply? The official answer is the *latter* defined rule is the one used. Reference: Assigning property values, Cascading, and Inheritance in the CSS ...

Ways from Sunday

Thursday, January 26th, 2006

There might be a googolplex ways from Sunday to make a list like this: Two ways from Sunday--the universe fails me. Three ways from Sunday--regular punk band. Four ways from Sunday--how friendship is tested. Five ways from Sunday--Christian punk band. Six ways from Sunday--emo poppy band. Seven ways from Sunday--Short story collection. Eight ways from Sunday--HP ...

Mountaineer Whittling

Thursday, January 26th, 2006

I just liked this image (from an essay on Appalachian Music at the Library of Congress website).


Wednesday, January 25th, 2006

Warning: trivial post ahead, involving a dream and the Oxford English Dictionary. When I was a poor undergraduate student, I had a copy of the compact OED, but I had to sell it to buy food or something. By the time I got to graduate school, Northwestern had online access to ...

Superhuman speech recognition?

Wednesday, January 25th, 2006

Well, I got excited when I saw this article referenced on Slashdot: IBM Strives For "Superhuman" Speech Tech. It may be very good--and the Voicebox in-car technology looks similar to what we worked on at I/NET--but: On their automatic translation software: "The software development kit (SDK) is available now, but no ...

“On outsourcing art”

Thursday, January 19th, 2006

Nice essay by Natalia: On outsourcing art. Singing is a particularly sticky issue. There’s something horribly personal about letting a sound that’s unique to your body come out of your belly, susceptible to being heard by others — a bodily emission rendered as sound. Could such a thing ever be ...

The problem with politics these days

Thursday, January 19th, 2006

The very government itself seems an organized scramble, and Congress a boys' debating-club, with the disadvantage of being reported. As our party-creeds are commonly represented less by ideas than by persons, (who are assumed, without too close a scrutiny, to be the exponents of certain ideas,) our politics become personal ...

Is Sacred Harp religious or saccular music?

Tuesday, January 17th, 2006

Neil P. McAngus Todd and Bjorn Merker, in Siamang gibbons exceed the saccular threshold: Intensity of the song of Hylobates syndactylus, states: While evolution has produced in all classes of vertebrate a great diversity of vocal courtship displays, loud synchronous chorusing employing amplitude summation of multiple voices may have played a ...

‘The Joy of Sacred Harp’

Sunday, January 15th, 2006

Pauline Lubens of the San Jose Mercury News produced a very nice 'audio slideshow' of the All-California Sacred Harp convention, which just concluded a few hours ago. It's probably as good a 2:00 minute introduction to 'diaspora' Sacred Harp singing as you're likely to find. Or just enjoy it ...

Happy birthday, Artificial intelligence

Monday, January 9th, 2006

Over the holidays 50 years ago, two scientists hatched artificial intelligence--what did you do over your holiday? (via the ACM).

Two Zimbabwe posts

Thursday, January 5th, 2006

From the

New Lego Mindstorms

Thursday, January 5th, 2006

LEGO has announced a new Mindstorms kit: the LEGO® MINDSTORMS™ NXT Robotics Toolset. 32-bit processor. program downloading via Bluetooth, new ultrasoniic, sound, light and touch sensors, a developer's program, Announced availability is Fall 2006, and should cost $US250.

No teenagers in our household

Wednesday, January 4th, 2006

For exactly one day, there are no teenagers in our household. Mark turned 20 today, and Jane turns 13 tomorrow.

Unmanned and Uninhabited

Tuesday, January 3rd, 2006

The Earth & Sky transcripts expands the UAV acronym to 'uninhabited aerial vehicle;' in our research, we typically use 'unmanned aeriel vehicle.' Google reports only about 54 kGhits for 'uninhabited aerial vehicle,' and 704 kGhits for 'unmanned aerial vehicle'. Yahoo reports 46.6 and 907 kGhits (kYhits?), respectively. Is ...

Scientists turn weapons into tools

Tuesday, January 3rd, 2006

According to today's Earth & Sky radio show. [We at NASA are] exploring the use of UAVs, trying to heavily leverage what the Department of Defense has invested in them, and what the Federal Aviation is investing in them . . . to see if we can't use these as ...

Harmonia Sacra

Monday, January 2nd, 2006

Again this year I was able to participate in the New Year's Day Harmonia Sacra singing in Elkhart (Indiana), ably led by James Gingerich and Matthew Lind. I've learned a lot in the last year, and so I think it was all the more enjoyable and pleasant to be there. ...