Archive for October, 2007


Friday, October 19th, 2007

That’s certainly a mouthful. I’m not sure I’d dare try to pronounce it, myself. Safer to use a speech synthesizer to get it correct.

Interesting song fact

Wednesday, October 17th, 2007

Following a link from David J., I clicked on a link Shawn Macomber included more or less in passing.

Although the link was about the Rod Stewart song Maggie May, it included information about the song In A Broken Dream, by Python Lee Jackson. I have that somewhere, on a K-Tel or similar LP, and had always thought that “Python Lee Jackson” was a name Rod Stewart had used when he was starting out. I never looked it up, though, and it appears that I was mistaken.

From research… The story unfolds like this. Disc jockey John Peel had signed the group (Python Lee Jackson)to his Dandelion record label, but they were having problems with the vocals. From the liner notes of a little misunderstood – The Sixties Sessions: Around October 1968 – or possibly month or so later – Rod recorded the infamous In a Broken Dream with Python Lee Jackson. Although originally put down as a guide vocal, Rod’s performance was so strong that the band’s lead singer, Dave Bentley (who’d penned the song), never got around to putting his own vocals over the top. Although it flopped upon its initial 1970 release, it became a huge worldwide hit when reissued in 1972. As Rod later recalled: “It was all John Peel’s fault. He said, ‘come down and show this guy how to sing the tune’. So me, being naive, and in no particular group at that time [which was patently untrue – Rod was always in a group, and was at that time in the Jeff Beck Group], I went and showed him how to sing it. Then suddenly, three years later, it ends up as a hit single. I don’t think Peely had anything to do with that, though. On the other side of the single [the 1970 release] there’s a really bad version of the Temptations’ Cloud Nine, with me singing the wrong words. But it wasn’t called ‘Cloud Nine’ on the record…they renamed it ‘So Fine’ [NB: Rod got it wrong – it was actually mistitled Doin’ Fine]. I didn’t even get a mention.” Peel was quick to confirm he had nowt to do with the reissue: “It all happened about four years ago … I’d seen this Australian group called Python Lee Jackson at the Arts Lab in Drury Lane. We tried various singers on the song and one of them happened to be Rod. I didn’t particularly want to issue anything with a session singer because it wouldn’t be representative of what the group was really like, so when Miki Dallon [who’d produced the session] offered to buy the tapes, I was more than willing to sell…” The initial 1970 release, on Dallon’s Youngblood label, had indeed paired up In a Broken Dream and Doin’ Fine (YB 1017); however, a different B-side, Boogie Woogie Joe (which didn’t feature Rod), appeared on the 1972 reissue (YB 1002). Rod had also recorded a third track with the band, The Blues, which appeared on their album, In A Broken Dream (SYB 3001), and was later paired up with (a by now correctly titled) Cloud Nine on a 1976 Younglood single (YB 1077). Confusing or what ? [NB: Rod later said that the fee he was paid for singing these three tracks was a set of new mats for his car!!!] — liner-notes by N. E. Fulcanwright

Micro-wind power

Wednesday, October 17th, 2007

This looks interesting. Sure, it can’t do much, but not much is necessary in a lot of circumstances.

And it’s 1, 2, 3 …

Wednesday, October 17th, 2007

There’s a discussion over at Slashdot on how to learn/relearn math. As with all Slashdot discussions, the comments run the gamut from informative to a waste of electrons. Since I’m all about the continuing education, I found some of the advice and linkage to be interesting and (potentially) useful.

It’s also interesting to consider the effects of calculators and smart cash registers on arithmetic skills in the same light that other technology may have effected memory (the link referring to the “outboard brain”).

Just remember the advice (which I’ve seen on t-shirts and bumper stickers) posted by one commenter: Don’t drink and derive.

Here’s a fishy story

Wednesday, October 17th, 2007

Interesting history of sushi. I like the way it starts out:

For traditionalists in 19th-century Japan, a new sushi place was a sign the neighborhood was going to hell. In 1852 one writer grumped about the proliferation of sushi stalls in booming industrial Tokyo. The McDonald’s of their day, the stalls offered hungry factory workers a quick, cheap meal of fish and sweetened, vinegared rice. If the fish wasn’t top of the line, well, a splash of soy sauce and a dab of spicy wasabi perked up a serving of fish gizzards nicely, with some antimicrobial benefits to boot.

Random miscellany

Tuesday, October 16th, 2007

Picked up here and there.

Improve your photos in 60 seconds. I expect to find this useful.

Ten brilliant complete movies online. I’ve only seen three of these in their entirety, but I’ve seen bits and pieces of several more.

The downside of the outboard brain. I know my memory isn’t what I think it ought to be. I’m wondering how much of that is due to having external aids (such as pen and paper), how much is due to the increased pace of modern life compared to prior generations, and how much is because of my tendency to inattentiveness. It’s an interesting thing to ponder, though. I remember a science fiction short story from twenty-or-so years ago, concerning the first people with direct brain-computer interfaces. The actual problem that was brought out in the story was that networking such people was limited by lightspeed, so getting too far from Earth would cause them to lose their “outboard” capabilities.

How to sync two or more Macs? I’m thinking of getting a Mac laptop to replace the laptop I killed a while back. This looks like something that may end up being useful to me.

Halloween preparations

Tuesday, October 16th, 2007

I’m not working on a Jack-o-lantern yet, but there are other concerns to be aware of.

I guess they did not

Monday, October 8th, 2007

Here is the video I wanted to see last week, although it doesn’t show what I’d hoped.

Your Code is Suboptimal

Sunday, October 7th, 2007


This relates to Eric Sink and SourceGear, makers of what are, no doubt, fine software tools … I just haven’t been able to evaluate them. If you need configuration management/revision control software, check them out. We’re in the market for it at work, and have already evaluated some competing products. Currently, I’m waiting for sufficient space to be made on our Windows 2003 Server system so we can start evaluating SourceGear’s products.

I can’t quite pull off the Evil Mastermind threatening glower, though. Perhaps if I had my own personal disintegrator …

Busy weekend coming up next week

Thursday, October 4th, 2007

I’ll be here, but I doubt I’d attend the World Championships, anyway.

Update: And how could I have forgotten this?