Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Lynx Orgy

In which no animals were subjected to violence, cruelty, or other indignities in the making of the post

Since writing original content is so difficult (although a seminal work on the psychoanalysis of pigeons is lurking beneath the surface), we will make do with more links, in no particular order.

News

Our politicians are all getting their knickers in a twist about Sarabjit Singh's impending execution. In particular, it is disgusting that this lot want Sarabjit let off. This is more or less the same lot that has been baying for Mohammad Afzal's blood, even if that case is like a colander. Indeed, no less than the worthies of our venerable Supreme Court think that "The collective conscience of the society will only be satisfied if the capital punishment is awarded to the offender."

Shame, shame, puppy shame. The death penalty is wrong.

Economics

The S.J.Dubner and S.D.Levitt, authors of Freaknomics have a blog at the New York Times. In their latest post, they point you to a video on The "Colbear" Report where the main man himself speaks with Sudhir Venkatesh about his (Sudhir's) experiences as a Gang Leader for a Day: A Rogue Sociologist Takes to the Streets. Venkatesh spent time living with Chicago gangs to understand among other things what makes someone risk their lives and limbs for a minimum wage job. Fascinating stuff.

Teaching

Via Chaotic Utopia, we are led to the Questionaut, an educational game.

The game begins with two friends lazily lounging on a tiny pastoral planet. As you click around and explore, you’ll set off little chain reactions. One of these will lead to one of the friend’s hat being blown away. The other friend promptly chases after it in his hot air balloon. Now, this is where you come in. The little aeronaut needs enough hot air to keep the balloon lifting. As he reaches new levels, he’ll find himself stuck in different environments. The only way to move on is to catch the attention of the local residents. Once they notice the little guy, they’ll start asking a series of questions in areas we ought to all know: geometry, physics, English, biology, and much more. If you answer correctly, they’ll give the balloon a lift.

Utterly delightful and very cute. The audio effects rock! Stage 3 has desi elevator music and all! A must if you were ever a child, or have one of those things yourself.

Books

Forgotten Books, forgotten no more.

Welcome to ForgottenBooks.org! From here you can read thousands of books FREE online (100% viewable) and purchase the books you like as high-quality paperbacks at wholesale prices.

We specialize in historical writings, this includes works such as: classical fiction, philosophy, science, religion, folklore, mythology and sacred texts, in addition to secret and esoteric subjects, such as: occult, freemasonry, alchemy, hermetic and ancient knowledge. Fiction and non-fiction books.


Early days, but promising. Random browsing unearthed "A Christmas Carol" (Dickens), "A Textbook of Theosophy" (Leadbeater), "The Nicomachean Ethics" (Aristotle), "Beowulf", "The Code of Hammurabi" and so on.

Software

The sometimes controversial but always readable Joel Spolsky predicts war.

You’re about to see the mother of all flamewars on internet groups where web developers hang out. It’ll make the Battle of Stalingrad look like that time your sister-in-law stormed out of afternoon tea at your grandmother’s and wrapped the Mustang around a tree.

Strictly for geeks, this is about browsers and standards (or lack thereof).

Music

Some people write fugues. This fellow, for example wrote some passable ones, and made a name for himself. Art of Fugue is very nice we've always thought, especially after Vikram used it so lovelily in An Equal Music.

There is no forced gravitas in her playing. It is a beauty beyond imagining - clear, lovely, inexorable, phrase across phrase, phrase echoing phrase, the incomplete, the unending "Art of Fugue". It is an equal music.
...
I push through the crowded lobby into the rain. I walk a long while, through the streets, the darkness of the park. Once more I stand by the Serpentine. The rain has washed my earlier tears away.

Music, such music, is a sufficient gift. Why ask for happiness; why hope not to grieve? It is enough, it is to be blessed enough, to live from day to day and to hear such music - not too much, or the soul could not sustain it - from time to time.


Fugues feature prominently in Gödel, Escher, Bach, and lately we find that this worthy has also begun fugifying.

So, off we went on the Wikipedia-Youtube circuit, in the manner of Esmeralda after truffles and here is what we've uncovered.

Glenn Gould talks about "Art of Fugue". He even plays several of them (this one for example). But the most entertaining introduction to fugue, after you've done your Wikipedia and other due diligence, is to be found in this video. It is splendid! How to write a fugue using Britney Spears' "Oops I Did It Again". Fundastic. So you want to write a fugue? along similar lines is also immensely entertaining.

En passant, we alight on hot woman violinist play "Toccata and Fugue in D minor". What's to not like?

Theology

The Official God FAQ is now available, and pretty much bang on target.

4 comments:

Space Bar said...

the boyz in the hood one is way old. and thankee for forgotten books. much gems are to be found there than esmeralda dreamt of.

Ludwig said...

[space bar]
> the boyz in the hood one is way old.

Qua?

And you're welcome.

Opaline said...

Dickens hardly qualifies as forgotten literature. Good stuff on the site but now I cant think of any books I might want to find. Except for very obscure kidlit. Obscure in this day and age, ie.

varali said...

Esmerelda! Joy!

Delighted to discovered someone else who knows her.