Archive for the ‘Thoughts’ Category

Reading music modifies spatial mapping in panists

November 30, 2006

While researching methods for detecting music staves with image processing, i interestingly found this paper (which actually has nothing to do with image processing).

Pitch height is represented in sheet music by a different vertical location. In the piano keyboard, it corresponds to a different horizontal location. This change requires an interpretation of the music by the pianist, and moreover, a spatial mapping (which can come with a degree of automaticity with varying experience). The paper concludes that “the acquisition of skill in music reading and playing thus involves the building of spatial representations that, once in place, extend outside a musical context”.

I recon there are multiple other mappings too, which also extend beyond the musical context. As a pianist, i can recall for instance the mapping of a visual image of a score into the idea of its sound, and the mapping of higher pitches into higher intensities, which also involves the mapping of the horizontal location of note to the vertical intensity with which the note should be played.

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You Are Here

November 27, 2006

Sometimes it’s good to have an idea of where we are (just zoom to where it says “you are here”).

Repeated dreams

October 27, 2006

Last night i dreamed. For a long time… it was a very long dream. And even though i knew i was dreaming, i wanted to keep dreaming. The interesting thing about this dream? I had dreamed it before, but it was still as real and vivid as in all the other times.

I usually think of dreams as portrayers of meanings. Sometimes easier to understand, sometimes not really understandable at first, but still, they exist for a reason. Perhaps you were watching that movie on the night before, perhaps you met someone you hadn’t seen in years, perhaps you’re nervous about something that’ll come up on the next days… all these things can reflect in your dreams.

But repeated dreams, they’re a different story. What do they mean? Didn’t we understand them on the first lesson? Are they a form of ultimatum for us to really focus on them, when we get sloppy? Did our brain decide to watch that old movie again, because it got so bored? I’d really like to find some answers here.

The F word in movies

September 26, 2006

Ok, now that i’ve grabbed your attention with such a showy title, let me start by stating that you won’t find any porn in here. For those that want to keep reading, let’s continue…

Just about 20 minutes i’ve ran through an “article” on Wikipedia describing the List of films that most frequently use the word fuck. This is a ranked list of 95 films (ATM) within which there happens to be the F word pronounced more than 100 times. It also has some nice metrics like the “Fuck Count” and the “FPM”s, or number of F words per minute. Curiosity of all the curiosities, the #1 movie is called “Fuck”. With 6.76 FPMs, that’s more than a Fuck in every 10 seconds!

So i’m thinking “Who the f-word digs a list of crappy movies saying the F word?”. And right next i realize “But this actually has some f-word-ing great movies!”. So some clicks later i’m opening IMDb’s Top 250 Movies of All-Time and looking up the rank of some good-but-not-top-movies. After correlating both sites, i realize that some of the best movies out there actually happen to say the F word pretty often! You may recognize most of them:

  • Pulp Fiction
  • Reservoir Dogs
  • The Big Lebowsky
  • American History X
  • Goodfellas
  • Scarface
  • Magnolia
  • Snatch
  • Platoon
  • Trainspotting
  • Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels
  • Raging Bull
  • Casino
  • Boogie Nights
  • Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
  • Shaft
  • 25th Hour
  • Jackie Brown
  • Good Will Hunting

So that’s the lesson for today, it’s all in the F word. That’s what people like! I’m still talking about movies, of course.

How to Bag that job!

August 29, 2006

A quick and good read on how to prepare for an interview.

In today’s competitive world, finding a job that is suitable to your needs is not very easy. Even if such a job should come along, there is no guarantee that you’re the only person applying for the post. To ensure you don’t miss out on the perfect opportunity, you need to present yourself to the prospective employer in a way that would impress them enough to employ you, instead of any of the other applicants.

Good Will Hunting and the Cubans

August 25, 2006

First of all, let me somehow predict the possible weird looks on your faces about this rather weird title. For those who watched the movie, you might be thinking “but there were no cubans there!”. For those who didn’t, “who the hell was Will Hunting and what was he doing in Cuba?” or “Why was somebody hunting good Will in Cuba?” might be running through your heads. So i’ll just start with the first part and move on to the second.

For short, Good Will Hunting is a movie about a very talented guy – Will Hunting – that gets to learn everything by reading books at the local library. He is quite a genius and becomes a master in many subjects without even going to the university. (See the Cuban part already? Me neither.) As a janitor at M.I.T., he has no trouble solving mathematical challenges that took the professors 2 years to solve. On the other hand, he didn’t really want to use his knowledge for anything. He had that gift, but all he wanted to do was to hang out with his friends and work on his simple-with-no-talent-required job. I won’t tell the rest of the movie.

I sudently started to recall some talks i’ve had about/with cubans. There is a common picture painted by people that i know who went to visit Cuba. It’s a beautiful place, but most of the people don’t have much money and want to get out of the country. For instance, there’s this friend of mine who went to Cuba to participate on a chorus event and the 2 cuban chorus couldn’t participate because they had been to the U.S. some weeks before and decided not to return. There is also a cuban girl i met when i was travelling this summer (not in Cuba) that told me how she managed to get to work outside of the country. They can go to other countries if they have a job contract, but a big percentage of their salary (which i’m not telling so you don’t get shocked) must go to the government. And there she was, a person who went to the university, working as a waitress.

One of the biggest accomplishments usually stated by those that stand for the current cuban regime is that they’ve eradicated illeteracy in Cuba. That, i must say, i applaud. The fact that they have easy access to the university, i applaud. But wait… should i? Is easy access all that’s needed for things to work out? That’s where i think it all is going terribly wrong. What’s the good of having everybody take their diplomas, when they’ll turn driving cabs or serving drinks at a restaurant? That’s even worse to them. It’s like widening their horizon just to tighten it right away, in a stupendous sense of frustration. So good Will Hunting managed to find his way up through the living. But what about the cubans, will they?

The typical first post

August 21, 2006

This is the typical first post. Therefore, as the first post there should be all the Ws in here: why, what, who, where, when, (to) whom? Here are some.

The blog’s title is based on my (currently) favorite movie: The Man Who Wasn’t There. The posts in this blog will feature a mixture of observations, combined with a bit of randomness and some critics. In other words, i don’t really know what this blog will be about, but that took care of the what. About the who, i’m pretty sure it will be me. The why? I don’t know, perhaps it’s just because i wanted to try this out. The where doesn’t really make any sense. And concerning the last two W’s, i will be writing whenever i feel like it and to whomever feels like it too.

This concludes the first post.