New music arrived for those who love alternative (and weird) melodies. Also I’m now a big fan of Spotify free desktop edition. The free edition is much better than iPhone app: it allows direct selection of songs (!) and unlimited skipping, not talking about playlist and favorites. Very handy stuff!
Dead Can Dance – Dionysus
Dionysus is the ninth studio album by the British-Australian band Dead Can Dance, released on 2 November 2018, after six years of silence. Dionysus is the ancient Greek god of wine. Album has Mexican mask depicted on the cover. Here’s some quotes from reviewers:
“Dionysus sounds both ancient and contemporary at the same time, and there are not many groups that can show so much reverence for ancient traditions from a modern music perspective. Their eclectic approach to songwriting goes far beyond contemporary music genres, and that is ultimately the record’s biggest asset. ” link
“Pairing a world’s worth of traditional instruments with widescreen gestures, the legendary duo explore the myth of a Greek god in an unknown tongue”. link
The Residents – Intruders
I like The Residents for their consistent effort to be very different, not only “spooky and comical”, but also profound and enjoyable. New album “Intruders” is “really a multimedia experience in its own way. Each of the songs on Intruders comes with its own macabre illustration and its own cryptic, micro story”. Link to review
In 2012 Stanford School of Engineering (USA) extends the list of free online courses. We love free and quality stuff, so here’s the full list of classes available to anybody who wants to enroll. Because they are online, you can be physically anywhere in the world, just make sure a reliable internet connection is present. Important: You will NOT get a Stanford university credit for taking this course, but you might get a completion statement at the end, if you pass thru all the tests successfully. Most courses start in February, but some of them in just few days, so be quick to register. Don’t underestimate the burden of learning—it is almost impossible to take several courses at the same time unless you can fully dedicate yourself and your 25 hours a day. On the other hand, the homework is not obligatory, so you can browse freely.
Computer Science 101 http://www.cs101-class.org/
By Nick Parlante CS101 teaches the essential ideas of Computer Science for a zero-prior-experience audience.
Class starts February 2012
Machine Learning http://jan2012.ml-class.org/
By professor Andrew Ng Machine Learning – is the science of getting computers to act without being explicitly programmed.
Class starts February 2012
You can enroll for free. All classes start on October 10th and finish in December 2011. Contrary to a learning through simply watching video courses available, you will be asked to do homework and pass mid-term and final exams — so this is going to be interactive. At the end you will be able to receive a statement of accomplishment from the instructor (i.e. an document to describe how well you did and how your performance compared to other online students)—so this is not a Stanford certificate or grade unfortunately.
As for the courses content:
Machine learning is taught by Professor Andrew Ng. The course is about the science of getting computers to act without being explicitly programmed. In the past decade, machine learning has given us self-driving cars, practical speech recognition, effective web search, and a vastly improved understanding of the human genome.
Countless hours spent at computer may turn you off the real encounters, meeting real people. Social life is difficult to hack, yet some may try to simulate. The simulation brings you back to the computers, and that is a trap. So let’s try to facilitate the way you could approach the other individuals or attract them like a magic magnet, and I would like to talk about fragrance. I’m not going to highlight the importance of taking the shower twice a day or that aphrodisiacs tricky stuff. Nothing like that.
I experienced few years ago a scent under name Escentric Molecules, and that perfume struck me deep. I’m obsessed with good scents in general, but that was very special. The brand was very much a niche article with limited distribution. Now I’ve noticed that the product line was extended and in my country it is becoming much more available (yet not that much affordable).
So what is the buzz? The first scent named Molecule 01 contains only one (!) ingredient “ISO E Super” which is a trade mark of one very long (both name and molecule structure) artificial chemical 7-acetyl, 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8-octahydro-1,1,6,7-tetramethyl naphthalene, well-known in the fragrance industry. Molecule 01 was introduced by a German perfume designer Geza Schoen.
Let me quote their website www.escentric.com: It’s just a clinical dose of a single aroma-chemical with a name as long as some distant galaxy’s. It comes in a menacing bottle with strange light effects. The aroma molecule is so complex, the body can only metabolize it very slowly so it appears to vanish, then re-appears hours later, hovering like a stealth bomber over your skin.
To support my point about socializing: ISO E Super has a pheromonic effect (pheromone — secreted or excreted chemical factor that triggers a social response in members of the same species). I think you got the point.
What are the best books to help you write well? I personally like very much the William Zinsser’s “On writing well. The classic guide to writing nonfiction” [2006, HarperCollins, ISBN-13: 978-0-06-089154-1]. I bought it few years ago via Amazon and enjoyed this book a lot, especially the first seven chapters. Here’s one of my favorite quotes about clutter in our language:
Clutter is the ponderous euphemism that turns a slum into a depressed socioeconomic area, garbage collectors into waste-disposal personnel and the town dump into the volume reduction unit. I think of Bill Mauldin’s cartoon of two hoboes riding a freight car. On of them says, “I started as a simple bum, but now I’m hard-core unemployed.”
I remember this game very well, 12 years ago it was a real hit. The game had a specific atmosphere of science fiction, adventure and LSD dreams. It was also a cowboy story with striking sense of humor. Now Gearbox Software announced that the new version of Duke Nukem called Duke Nukem Forever will be released some time in 2011. Duke Nukem Forever, the long awaited sequel to Duke Nukem 3D, has been in development since 1997 by 3D Realms. The date of release is not clear yet, last info was February 1st 2011, but it could be just a preliminary milestone in the developing project. Here’s the official site: http://www.dukenukem.com/ Over last weekend Gearbox presented a live demo of Duke Nukem Forever in Holland, played on Xbox 360. I will also be available for PC and Playstation 3. You can already pre-order it at Amazon for 50$.
In the world of of underground you can find sometimes true pieces of GUI art. You may call them ugly, and indeed they are not ordinary, but they reflect the shining of the hidden world. Let’s keep aside talks about how bad using workarounds for commercial software is. I believe you can only achieve big popularity for a program, if the software is used by those can pay (corporations, citizens of countries with sound economy) and also those who can’t. If that happens, then those who don’t care have to use that software as well, because it becomes the standard. So, then everybody is affected. Based on that I think Microsoft, Adobe, Autodesk and other giants are truly interested in piracy in certain limits, because that doubles their popularity. That happened to Windows and Photoshop, and that did not happen to Mac OS X, for instance.
There we have the teams ZWT, Orion, FFF, CORE, Again, TMG, Digital Insanity, EMBRACE, SSG, ECLiPSE, DAMN. If these names tell you nothing, I can not really help.
The ones with blue background below are ANSI crafted. It is usually a file with *.nfo extension. Very good and free viewer for these files is GetDiz from Outertech software.