Friday, October 31, 2008
Thursday, October 30, 2008
They swim, like Dumbo, by flapping their ears. Or whatever those things are.
Or whatever it was Dumbo did. (I saw the movie when I was four. I realize it was seminal but I'm not that sure on the plot.)
Update 12/2013: A new picture of an even cuter Dumbo Octopus here.
Update 5/2014: A rather more frightening look at a Dumbo Octopus here.
Update 9/2014 a lovely video here.
A new sighting here.
Update Oct 12 2014: A new video here.
The Guardian: Led Zep reunion: promoter says no
Led Zeppelin's former promoter has warned the band against a reunion tour, questioning whether there is any "compelling reason" to get back together.
"I certainly don't think they should do a big tour because I can't see the point of it," Harvey Goldsmith told a crowd at the MusExpo conference in London this week. "I think some of the band really want to go out and do it and other parts of the band need to understand why they're doing it, and if there's no compelling reason to do it, then they shouldn't do it."
Rolling Stone: John Paul Jones Hints At Led Zeppelin Tour Without Robert Plant
(A million comments on the subject:)
Plant-less Zeppelin gig draws criticism
Jones said the remaining members plan to record a new album and go on tour as Led Zeppelin.
Frankly amazing times for BBC Radio Devon, which broke a gigantic world exclusive on Tuesday. Cornering Led Zeppelin bassist John Paul Jones at a “guitar show in Exeter”, a cub reporter got him to reveal that Led Zeppelin will be re-forming - and seeking to replace the legendary Robert Plant with new lead singer!
And at the Radio Devon interview, he did not say anything about "Led Zeppelin". I heard the Radio Devon announcer say it. That's not the same thing.
The Late Show BBC Radio Devon Tue 28th October. (From Steve Sauer)
Here's my transcript:
Radio Devon: You are working with Jimmy Page, you are working with Jason Bonham. What is happening? We've heard Robert Plant doesn't want to do it. We've heard Myles Kennedy has been mentioned. What is happening?
JPJ: Well, er, we're trying out with a couple of singers and basically when we know what we're gonna do, we'll let you know. (Laugh.) Let everybody else know.
Radio Devon: You obviously wanna do it though?
JPJ: We do wanna do it. We're sounding great, what we're doing. We're very happy and we wanna, er, get on and get out there. Time's getting on.
Radio Devon: Is there a feeling that if you don't do it shortly you wouldn't wanna do it?
JPJ: Not that we wouldn't want to, but it's got to be right, you know? Not just trying to re-create, find another Robert. I mean you could pick somebody out of a tribute band. What's the point of that, you know? We don't want to be our own tribute band.
Radio Devon: And just a final point, will there be a record coming out? Is it just touring you'll do?
JPJ: Yeah, there would be a record, a tour, and ya know. But, we've got to have everybody on board, everybody on and that's what we're working for, that's a proper job.
Radio Devon: We're looking forward to it. So there you have it. Zeppelin will tour without Robert Plant in the not too distant future.
Could the compelling reason be they want to play loud music again? Not cash in as "Led Zeppelin"? I'm worried we might not get a chance to find out after this reception.
Monday, October 27, 2008
Information Week, in its article, Terrorists Could Use Twitter For Mayhem, Army Report Muses says,
"It [the report] touches briefly on "Pro Terrorist Propaganda Cell Phone Interfaces," using cell phone GPS data to assist terrorist operations, mobile phone surveillance, possible use of voice changing technology by terrorists, "Potential For Terrorist Use of Twitter," and other mobile phone technology and software that bears further consideration."
It's true, too. They could. They could also, say, write something on a notepad, put it into an envelope and mail it, so I think we should look very carefully at this "US Mail" thingy, as I'm sure it could come back to bite us on the ass one day.
I was thinking of some more technological ways to teach Terrsts how to organize, but luckily Rick in comments has put a few together for us. "Rick" says,
"You forgot the following:Pens, pencils, paper, cardboard, paint, walkie-talkies, bullhornes, postage stamps, xerox machines, telegrams, telephones of all types, whiteboards and dry erase markers, sharpies, emails, web sites, billboards, shouting, speaking at normal volume, whispering, sign language, coded gestures, pig latin, Navy signal flag banners, silkscreened T-shirts, carvings on tree trunks with pocket knives, vanity license plates, sky-writing, signs on blimps, coded whistling, backwards recordings embedded in pop songs, bogus advertisements, hoaxes with secret underlying meanings, varying lengths of thin and wide necktie ends, messages in wadded up pieces of paper, graffiti in public places including restroom stalls, limericks, and utterly ridiculous Pentagon press releases."
All true. But, look, Rick - and Army's 304 Military Intelligence Battalion Open Source Intelligence Team - I can't believe you both spent several minutes on this horrible threat and neither of you came up with steganographically embedded code words in Britney Spears pictures on Flickr.
Any more of this slack thinking and the Terrsts will have won.
*Twitterpated defined for the confused.
Sunday, October 26, 2008
He was asked about the current rumors regarding a Led Zeppelin "reunion" tour. He confirmed that he, John Paul Jones, was rehearsing with Jimmy Page and Jason Bonham. Robert Plant does not want to do this for the moment. Robert did not want to "make loud music any more" so they had been working with "the other odd singer". JPJ said that they don't know who will be chosen, but "as soon as we know we will tell you." He really hopes that "something will happen soon", he added.
He said the band sounded "fantastic".
Here is the segment on YouTube, as posted by Nick337.
Saturday, October 25, 2008
Found at Zooillogix by the indefatiguable Oceangal. Picture courtesy of Cabrillo Marine Aquarium.
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, was overjoyed to learn of the existence of his watery cousin:
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
I bought the two Raconteurs CDs this week, Consolers of the Lonely and Broken Boy Soldiers, having been seduced a live boot provided by a friend. They got here yesterday and I will listen this evening.
I missed the White Stripes bandwagon, but that's all right. A bit of artistic maturity is a fine thing.
OK, pretty Jack White. I think we can all agree on this.
Hand to mouth shots always slay me.
Yeah, I know the cash shirt is photoshopped.
Edited to re-up photos, 06/03/15
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
From one article, "Cult Fave Roy Harper Reintroduces Himself to the US", I learned that he is recovering from prostate cancer, but will consider touring again, plucky man.
And that there are reissues:
While Harper's musical style and lyrics may account for the lack of greater mainstream acceptance, his name and voice are probably familiar to rock fans. Led Zeppelin recorded the song 'Hats Off to (Roy) Harper' from 1970's 'Led Zeppelin III,' and Harper sang lead on 'Have a Cigar' from Pink Floyd's 1975album 'Wish You Were Here.' Now his distinct music is being reintroduced to Americans through the recent reissues of his earlier studio albums: 'Flat Baroque and Berserk' (1970), 'Stormcock' (1971) and 'What Ever Happened to Jugula?' (a collaborative album with Jimmy Page, 1985).
There's another, much longer, article at Popmatters, Hats Off: An Interview with Roy Harper
It says he's in his seventies and was born in 1941, so it must be being published in the future... or my math is crap. It's a full career retrospective and includes a little on my heroes, e.g.
Yet while Harper never achieved mega-rock star status, the people he hung out with did. Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, David Gilmour all were close long-time friends. In 1970, Led Zeppelin recorded the tribute “Hats Off to Roy Harper” and put it on the folk-leaning, III. Harper remembers how he heard about the song.
“I went up to see them in their office, and Jimmy handed me the record, and I was like ‘Oh, new record ...’ and twirled it around a bit and said, ‘Yeah, that’s great.’ And I gave it back,” he says. “[Jimmy] he handed it back to me, and said, ‘Well, look at it then.’ And I sort of realized I should be looking at something else. And then, of course, I saw it, and I said, ‘Oh, dear ...’”
Harper says he’s still in touch with friends from the old days, and had just attended Robert Plant’s 60th birthday. Still the gap between their success and his was large. Was that ever difficult?
“Well, you can imagine, being a multimillionaire and all of that ... the level on which I operate is nowhere near that,” he admits. “Automatically, they have completely different lives from me. Although I must say that particularly Robert does his absolutely level best to keep his feet on the ground and stay in touch, constantly. Robert actually does his best all the time. Not that the others don’t. But after so many years, after so much life experience, people do become separated, you know?”
I can imagine that. I've lost touch with a lot of friends from the seventies, and I don't even have the being-a-multi-millionaire excuse.
The long article is well worth a read.
If you feel an inkling to buy Roy Harper albums, do visit his own website, www.royharper.com . You can buy the them there and have the satisfaction of knowing he'll see the sales and not just a royalty check 18 months down the road.
Saturday, October 18, 2008
D'yer Mak'er – Led Zeppelin
Apparently people have problems with that title – it's pronounced Jamaica and is the penultimate line of the old joke,
"I took my girlfriend to the West Indies last week."
"No, but it was fun trying."
You might not get it. I doubt anyone this century has taken a girl to the West Indies and not made her, but I said it was an old joke.
Edit: Having since heard an interview with Robert Plant where he gives the punchline, he actually meant the clean version.
"My wife went to the West Indies last week."
"No, she went of her own accord."
Not as funny, but apparently definitive. :)
Bleeding Love - Leona Lewis
For some reason they don't want this embedded – fine, don't sell records then. Usually I embed them myself but can't be bothered with this one. Nice record, though, in its way. And she was tied to a pole in the dark with Jimmy Page at the Olympics, so she's all right by me.
Grown ups are just silly children - Roy Harper
Can't find an embeddable one of this either, but Roy's all right by me, and he has quite likely been tied to a pole with Jimmy Page at least once, so I'll forgive him.
Stand by Me - Ben E King
Every Breath You Take - The Police
Why Must I Be a Teenager in Love – Dion and the Belmonts
Who Put The Bomp – Barry Mann
Hungry Heart – Bruce Springsteen
(A little different)
Last Christmas - Wham
There are thousands more – apparently over 100 hot hits with the same chords. It's not what you've got, it's what you do with it that counts.
Friday, October 17, 2008
There's now a newer review of the literature out. What's their conclusion?
The team’s survey of major journal papers published between 1965 and 1979 found that only seven articles predicted that global average temperature would continue to cool. During the same period, 44 journal papers indicated that the average temperature would rise and 20 were neutral or made no climate predictions. The findings were “a surprise to us,” Peterson says. For decades the “skeptics had repeated their argument so often and so strongly that we misremembered the tenor of the times.”
Their report is published in in the September Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, and there is a write-up of the paper in Science News: Cooling climate ‘consensus’ of 1970s never was.
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Does the truth lie halfway between say, slavery and abolition, or between segregation and civil rights, or between communism and democracy? If you quote Dietrich Bonhoeffer or Winston Churchill, in other words, must you then give equal time and credence to Hitler and Joseph Goebbels? If you write an article that's critical of John McCain, are you then obligated to devote an identical number of words to criticism of Barack Obama, and vice versa?
The idea that truth is merely a social construct, that it's subjective, in other words, first appeared in academia as a corruption of post-modernism, but it’s taken root in our culture without our really realizing it or understanding its implications.
It began with liberal academics arguing, for example, that some Southwestern Indians' belief that humans are descended from a subterranean world of supernatural spirits is, as one archaeologist put it, "just as valid as archaeology." As NYU philosophy professor Paul Boghossian puts it in a wonderful little book, "Fear of Knowledge": " ... the idea that there are many equally valid ways of knowing the world, with science being just one of them, has taken very deep root."
Although this kind of thinking, relativism and constructivism, started on the left, many conservatives now feel empowered by it, too, and some of them have embraced it with a vengeance on issues ranging from global warming and evolution to the war in Iraq.
"Journalists live in the reality-based world," a White House official told Ron Suskind, writing for The New York Times Magazine back in the headier days of 2004. "The world doesn't really work that way any more. We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality."
I respectfully disagree.
The rest is worth reading, too.
And on a completely different tack - but producing the same joy - a Baltimore Sun blogger finds a Page/Plant video of Since I've Been Loving You from Glastonbury in 1995 that packs a visceral punch. Always one of my favorite tracks, here it is in a very late incarnation, sounding, quite improbably, just as good as the first time.
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
What's wonderful is the sheer perfection of the redone track. The voice is beautiful, the words are funny (and get much funnier towards the end), nobody screws up and everything works out right. I don't know how people do this - there are many people with actual recording contracts who plainly can't sing at all, or even worse use Auto-Tune. It's strange to live in a world where some guys and presumably their pet Pro Tools can put together a wonderful version of a very famous song.
I get the impression that for every three people who actually produce a thing there are a dozen more riffing off it, fanficcing it, slashing it, parodying it, derivately working it or otherwise performing other post modern occupations of the same general sort. Is it just the way I live my life, or is it true?
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Friday, October 10, 2008
Thursday, October 09, 2008
Osamu Shimomura shared the 2008 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his research into the green glowing protein in jellyfish, GFP. The protein can be made on a structure of interest and then "lit up" so that the other protein or structure can be easily located under a microscope. It has led to several breakthroughs in Biology and Medical Research.
To do the initial research, Shimomura had to catch 100,000 jellyfish.
Daily Yomiuri reports:
In the state of Washington, where Shimomura was based at the time, there were so many Aequorea victoria jellyfish living in the sea nearby that local residents said they could walk on the water as a result. As his research would require up to 3,000 jellyfish a day, Shimomura, his family members and his assistants would repeatedly scoop up jellyfish using long-shafted nets, depositing them in one of about 30 buckets placed at intervals of five meters along a pier.
It goes on:
Due to a rapid decline in the number of jellyfish over the past 10 years or so, it has become impossible to capture large quantities of them.
Perhaps we also need a Nobel Prize in population dynamics.
I'm beginning to wonder if my friend isn't right - the one who sends me webpages to read about who our masters are, what the Federal Reserve really is, and what the real people in power are up to.
As Anti-War Blog says, savvy politicians usually wait until after they're elected to tell you they're nullifying all your rights.
Of course, as being paranoid is a way of life for me, I can't tell if he's deliberately throwing the election by appearing elderly, ill and mad or whether he's genuinely elderly, ill and mad.
Saturday, October 04, 2008
What's My Name and Garageland, Live at the Elizabethan, Manchester, 1977
Janie Jones, Live at the Elizabethan, Manchester, 1977
White Riot 06-07-1978 Dunfermline Kinema,Scotland
I did see them live once, and all I remember is they had a lot of very large male fans wearing leather jackets. I suppose it would be better to say "I attended one of their performances", because I didn't actually see any of them.
Thank goodness for YouTube.
In 1977, I'd given up my Led Zeppelin habit. Now I look at what I was missing, and, y'know, stylistically there are certain similarities.
Thursday, October 02, 2008
But did you notice this? The Federal Reserve
There's no point in giving them any more. And adding $150 Billion of pork for individual Senators for such things as removing the excise tax on wooden arrows for children (still not making this up) does not make the bailout "sweeter". It makes it bigger and more...porky.
Fed Pumps Further $630 Billion Into Financial System
The Federal Reserve will pump an additional $630 billion into the global financial system, flooding banks with cash to alleviate the worst banking crisis since the Great Depression.
The Fed's expansion of liquidity, the biggest since credit markets seized up last year, came hours before the U.S. House of Representatives rejected a $700 billion bailout for the financial industry.
Don't give them any more money. They lost the last lot and they'll lose this lot too.