On Repeat

December 7, 2006

Sometimes one comes by an album that just needs to be  played continually. “The Garden”, by Zero 7, is one of those.

I didn’t even like listening to Zero 7. In fact, seeing them live 2 years ago actually made me yawn for almost the entire concert. Though, this album just sounds different. Starting with “crosses”, my personal favorite, “your place”, “throw it all away” and “futures”, the album features the mixture of a very serene mood with varying electronica details, in a well balanced way.

Zero 7

What the duck?!

December 6, 2006

Some time ago i stopped by this site with very funny cartoons: What the Duck.

The Shepherd

December 6, 2006

This one just came by on email. It’s kind of funny for those in the field, and perhaps not very funny for the rest, but still:

A shepherd was herding his flock in a remote pasture when suddenly a
brand-new BMW advanced out of a dust cloud towards him. The driver, a
young man in an Armani suit, Gucci shoes, Ray Ban sunglasses and YSL
tie (Corb), leans out the window and asks the shepherd:

“If I tell you exactly how many sheep you have in your flock, will you
give me one?”

The shepherd looks at the man, obviously a yuppie, then looks at his
peacefully grazing flock and calmly answers:

“Sure. Why not?”

The yuppie parks his car, whips out his Dell notebook computer,
connects it to his AT&T cell phone, surfs to a NASA page on the
internet, where he calls up a GPS satellite navigation system to get
an exact fix on his location which he then feeds to another NASA
satellite that scans the area in an ultra-high-resolution photo. The
young man then opens the digital photo in Adobe Photoshop and exports
it to an image processing facility in Hamburg, Germany. Within
seconds, he receives an email on his Palm Pilot that the image has
been processed and the data stored. He then accesses a MS-SQL database
through an ODBC connected Excel spreadsheet with hundreds of complex
formulas. He uploads all of this data via an email on his Blackberry
and, after a few minutes, receives a response. Finally, he prints out
a full-color, 150-page report on his hi-tech, miniaturized HP LaserJet
printer and finally turns to the shepherd and says:

“You have exactly 1586 sheep.”

“That’s right. Well, I guess you can take one of my sheep.”, says the shepherd.

He watches the young man select one of the animals and looks on amused
as the young man stuffs it into the trunk of his car. Then the
shepherd says to the young man:

“Hey, if I can tell you exactly what your business is, will you give
me back my sheep? ”

The young man thinks about it for a second and then says:

“Okay, why not?”

“You’re a consultant.” says the shepherd.

“Wow! That’s correct,” says the yuppie, “but how did you guess that?”

“No guessing required”, answered the shepherd. “You showed up here
even though nobody called you; you want to get paid for an answer I
already knew, to a question I never asked; and you don’t know crap
about my business… Now give me back my dog.”

Gnome Subtitles – now in Portage

December 1, 2006

Gnome Subtitles, my pet project, has made it to the Gentoo Linux Portage.

This will greatly ease the installation of the application by Gentoo users, while also hopefully gathering more attention and contributors to the project.

Time for an “emerge gnome-subtitles” now. 😉

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.

The “WOW” signal

November 27, 2006

Wow” remains the strongest and clearest signal ever received from an unknown source in space, as well as the most fascinating and unexplainable.

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”).

My favorite joke, in 3 languages

November 25, 2006

Here’s my favorite joke. In english:

A blind guy walks into the kitchen, grabs the cheese grater, and asks:

– Who the hell wrote this shit?!

In portuguese:

Um cego entra na cozinha, pega no ralador do queijo, e pergunta:

– Quem é que escreveu esta merda?!

And finally… in slovenian!

Slepec vstopi v kuhinjo, prime ribežen in reče:

– Kdo za vraga je napisal to sranje?!

Scrat, the Ice Age dude

November 2, 2006

Scrat is one of those characters that, no matter how long i’ve known him, there’s always a smile on my face whenever he shows up. For those that aren’t relating the name to the being, Scrat is the dude with the nut, from Ice Age. What i like most about him is his possessive obsession for nuts and the way his expression ranges from the “poor little guy” to the “flabbergasted dude”.

Last night i was watching a new mini-video with Scrat and decided to share some (no big movies, just clips).

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.