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Flapi version 0.3 has been released.
See the GitHub project page for more information.

As well, a screencast has been created which explains some of the functionality that the tool provides.

Recent Thoughts

Rhythmic Perceptions in “Slip”

One of my favorite EDM tracks to listen to is Slip, by deadmau5. In fact, Random Album Title is one of my favorite albums, and it showcases the high production quality that has made Joel a widely recognized artist and performer (Did you know that he was selected to be the ‘house artist’ for the VMA’s in a few weeks? That will introduce his work to quite a few new people I should think. details).

Slip is great because it is simple and complex at the same time. It has a catchy melody, a simple harmony, a repeated rhythmic figure. But the melody is slightly embellished here and there, and the harmony isn’t always even present. Most importantly, the melody does as the title suggests: it slips.

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Adventures in Pipelined Reading

To say that I have too many books is like stating that a shark has but a handful of teeth. The number peaked in 2007 when I was working at Barnes and Noble, and has slowly been declining since. As I have the luxury of taking my read books to my parent’s house which has a dedicated library, nearly all of the books I retain are unread, with the rest made up of reference books and favorites. Combined with a purchase rate artificially maintained to be less than my consumption rate, I can keep shrinking my collection.

In my efforts to actually read the books, I am often faced with the problem of longer versus shorter. Shorter books are smaller, and so easier to travel with, and require less time to read. Traditionally I would read a series of shorter books during the school year and one long title during the summer. However I am entering a stage of life devoid of “summer break”, and so the longer books are in danger of being permanently shelved.

Normally I hate reading two books at once. I like being able to return to the same story, and I like focusing all of the limited time I spend reading towards completing one book. If I read two books, one of them is usually fiction and the other non-fiction. But I do want to read more (everyone says that, few achieve it), and many of the books that I want to take up are the longer ones. Some of them I’m avoiding reading just because they are so long, and for them I have developed a carefully-crafted force-feeding regiment.

Take Tom Jones, for example. I had the pleasure of working on the play at one point and loved it. There’s a film version as well that is really great. So naturally I wanted to read Mr. Fielding’s novel, and indeed purchased the B&N edition one day at work back in ‘07. This book, this…paperweight, goes from 1 to 801 in 2.1 inches and 1.5 pounds. Published in 1749, The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling displays the shift towards Romanticism in the 18th century, and is also known as one of the first books of the form that we now call a “novel”. The work has one distinct advantage over the other books on my shelf: it is easily broken up. The book is laid out in 18 sub-books, each with a series of chapters. In total there are 208 chapters, which is roughly 3.85 pages per chapter. That’s small enough to fit alongside any other book I’m reading.

And so that’s the plan. One chapter a day, starting tomorrow, will bring me to….(Python timedelta magic)….March 23, 2011. Maybe I’ll even read more than 4 pages a day and finish early! Along with this book I’ll be rereading the wonderful A Generative Theory of Tonal Music before I restart work on a project that I had shelved for a long time. That book is too big for subway reading, so instead I’ll be carrying around Huber Selby Jr.’s Last Exit to Brooklyn, which I had been meaning to read ever since I read Requiem for a Dream.

And so this is the life I’m going to live from now on, I think. One voluntary book of fiction, one voluntary work of non-fiction, and one semi-force-fed book that I normally would never get around to reading because I want to read the other books more. At least one of them should be portable. In addition to reading, November always brings NaNoWriMo, which I have declared my intent to participate in for nearly a decade, though never actually have. However, the likelihood that this will be the year I complete my one-month novel is rather small, as I do intend to have a real job by then. Of all my projects waiting to be worked, writing the two or three novels that I have in my head is fairly low on my priorities list. Someday I suppose, but probably not this year.

Circular Sequencers, Sonifying The Bomb

I don’t usually gush about musical interfaces, and haven’t really since grid controllers (like the monome) started to gain in popularity. However, this is a wonderful, visually appealing idea that deserves a look.

From CDM: Loopseque, New iPad App, Offers Circular Sequencing and Visual Inspiration

Now, while I am still firmly against fully supporting such a closed platform as the iPad, these music apps show what is possible with a clean, mulitouch interface. Developers shouldn’t have to hack the iPad to support all of the great features they have in mind. I’m hopeful that the iPad will at least accomplish the goal of driving down the price of multitouch hardware, and that Apple’s patents don’t continue to stifle innovation in that area.

And while we’re visiting CDM, here’s another cool article: Sonification: Thermonuclear Testing, Made into Music, 1945-1998

Here, the artist Isao Hashimoto has taken data representing nuclear tests performed by various countries from 1945 to 1998 and sonified the data. (I wish someone would make a decision on the word we’re supposed to be using. The concept is sonification, but I’ve heard others use sonified, sonificated, audiated, and more.) Each second of the audio is one month of the year. Events like new calendar years, and new countries entering the arms race have their own sound effects. Each detonation produces a tone with the pitch corresponding to the horizontal plane of the map. Because the sounds are all so simple, the effect is much like a Geiger counter. The visualization also matches quite well with the style of the sounds produced.

Kitchen Magic 4 - Mightnight Showing

In the middle of a movie, I decided that I wanted a snack. Rather than turn to greasy popcorn, I opted to make something a little healthier. I had some leftover bowtie noodles from kasha varnishkas that I made a few weeks earlier. Something about bowtie noodles just makes me feel so silly eating them. I guess that lends a sort of imaginary lightness to this pasta snack food. After boiling the noodles, I mixed in the tiniest pat of butter, just to keep them from sticking together too much. I found a suitable bowl, and in the center placed a small dish which I filled with soba sauce. (When in doubt, soba sauce is probably your best bet. The sweetness pairs with almost everything. If you’ve ever seen people beg for tempura sauce at restaurants, then you know what I’m talking about.) Keeping the sauce dish in the bowl removes the chance of making a mess while dipping. This is especially important when practicing the fine art of dining on your couch.

midnight showing

Keeping it real simple.

The noodles didn’t take that long to cook, and the soba sauce is just store-bought. The combination of the room temperature sauce with the warm noodles was very satisfying.

My sacred task completed, I returned to watch the remainder of my movie.

Kitchen Magic 3 - Roadside Attraction

To quote the slogan of a highly successful creative venture, “We do what we must because we can.” The name of the soup sounds more like the title of a beer from the good people at Magic Hat Brewing Company, but the taste is more like a very fishy vegetable soup. Once again, necessity is the mother of deliciousness.

Roadside Attraction soup

Step right up and see the monster of all monsters!

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