Archive for September 2009

September 29, 2009

Have you got a little Brook in your heart,

Where bashful flowers blow,

And blushing birds go down to drink,

And shadows tremble so —

 

And nobody knows, so still it flows,

That any brook is there, 

And yet your little drought of life

Is daily drunken there — 

 

Why, look out for the little brook in March, 

When the rivers overflow,

And the snow comes hurrying from the hills,

And the bridges often go —

 

And later, in August it may be —

When the meadows parching lie,

Beware, lest this little brook of life, 

Some burning noon go dry! 

                         -Dickinson

September 27, 2009

A humble champion is like a sorry attempt at wit – sickening.

Stopwatch

September 26, 2009

Decided to make an arduino stopwatch today. I connected pin 7 to the 5 volt pin, which serves as the input source for pin 7. Once you break the input value by breaking the physical connection (by unplugging pin 7 on the breadboard) and then re-connect,  it starts to recognize the 5 volt as the input value for pin 7 and tracks the duration until the next pulse break. So every time I disconnect pin 7 from the 5 volt, it serves to “stop” the duration timer and print out the serial time (in this case I set it to spit out both total seconds and total milliseconds), and every time I connect pin 7 to the 5 volt, it records the pulse input duration until I disconnect. After that I just integrated some cool LEDs to go off in a loop whenever the connection is broke – that is, whenever I stop the timer.

Picture:

Photo 11

Some results: 

0 Sec, 0 ms, 

0 Sec, 0 ms, 

0 Sec, 0 ms, 

0 Sec, 865 ms, 

3 Sec, 3115 ms,  — this was how long it took me to blow my nose! 

0 Sec, 0 ms, 

37 Sec, 37753 ms, 

0 Sec, 0 ms, 

0 Sec, 0 ms, 

6 Sec, 6377 ms, 

0 Sec, 0 ms, 

1 Sec, 1621 ms, 

0 Sec, 0 ms, 

0 Sec, 0 ms, 

0 Sec, 209 ms, — Fastest time! Gnarly! 

0 Sec, 0 ms, 

0 Sec, 0 ms, 

0 Sec, 214 ms, 

0 Sec, 0 ms, 

0 Sec, 0 ms, 

0 Sec, 924 ms, 

0 Sec, 0 ms, 

Code:

 const int pingPin = 7;

 int timer = 100;

 int thisPin = 8;

 void setup() {

   Serial.begin(9600);

   for(int thisPin = 8; thisPin <= 13; thisPin++){

   pinMode (thisPin, OUTPUT);

   }

 }

 void loop()

 {

  long duration;

   pinMode(pingPin, INPUT);

   duration = pulseIn(pingPin, HIGH);  

   Serial.print(duration/1000000);

   Serial.print(” Sec, “);

   Serial.print(duration/1000);

   Serial.print(” ms, “);

   Serial.println();

   delay(timer);

   if (duration > 1){

   for(int thisPin = 8; thisPin <=13; thisPin++){

     digitalWrite(thisPin, HIGH);

     delay(timer);

     digitalWrite (thisPin, LOW);

   }

   for(int thisPin = 13; thisPin >=8; thisPin- -){

   digitalWrite (thisPin, HIGH);

   delay(timer);

   digitalWrite(thisPin, LOW);

   }

  }

 else{

  digitalWrite (thisPin, LOW);

 }

Experimental Music

September 18, 2009

Just what exactly is so “intelligent” about Intelligent Dance Music (IDM)?

IDM or experimental “avant-garde” style music is an attempt at challenging the normal idea of a ‘linear musical progression’ – that is, how many oblique obstructions can we add before all symmetry breaks down entirely? The idea is not to construct a meaningless hubbub of noise (there’s nothing intelligent or interesting about that), rather the musician is trying to push the CONCEPT of structure to its limit. In normal “pop culture”-esque music, the structure of the song is obvious and immediately recognizable; but in experimental music, the structure is precisely what is being tested**, making it very subtle and difficult to follow. Part of what makes intelligent dance music “intelligent”, then, is that the listener MUST be active. Half of the FUN of listening to experimental music is to recognize and follow the subtle structure of the song – to listen to, and appreciate how that structure is tested. Thus, the ideology, and the attentive demand that this genre places on the listener are what makes it “intelligent”.

**each attempt at testing the idea of structure in this way is an experiment, hence ‘experiment’al music.  

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Experimental Music “, posted with vodpod

September 16, 2009

I can’t believe my eyes. I just saw a GuitarHero setup in the main lobby of the Pattee library! UNREAL! They’re turning my library into an f-ing carnival for children. — “What’s that, you’d like to check out a book? Oh, well here’s your free cone of cotton candy to go with it. Enjoy your day, HONK HONK.”

Focus

September 12, 2009

The depth and dexterity of any man’s expression is always a mirror image of his focus. Without focus one finds oneself swinging the arms of thought at shadows and chimaeras to the point of exhaustion. Focus keeps us THERE, keeps us at the shoreline of thought, mounts our feet to the ocean floor and safeguards us from the rip-currents of passion; for any thought worth expressing tears through the individual like a violent hurricane. The weak are swept away like drunken dancers of whimsy with pretty words and petty phrases of wit, esteeming himself to be some sort of poet, yet revealing himself as a child chasing fireflies in the night. His cheap phrases, buoyant though they might be, bob back and forth in a briny void, uprooted from thought. The water nymphs of caprice lead him to a gentile brook that soon advances into violent rapids and smashes his ribcage against the rocks of intellectual bankruptcy. Focus is our only defense against our own passion. Focus grabs passion like an Arabian thoroughbred by the mane, throws him into a stable, and domesticates him. Later our thoughts will strap a saddle to his back and ride him to exhaustion. It is thus not without a degree of foolishness that poets, artists, and other of that ilk scoff at the art mathematics. Mathematics is the labor that produces calluses on the hands of focus and conditions him for struggle, for whenever focus lacks this vital endurance, passion, with volcanic force, erupts and splinters the soul into every possible variation of itself – into ash and dust – and thus blots out the rays of insight.

Apologies

September 7, 2009

Apologies are strange. Whenever someone expects/demands an apology from someone else, what they are really saying is: you hurt me, now I want to see you equally hurt by your own feelings of sorrow (or guilt, or whatever). Forgiveness, then, amounts to being sufficiently satisfied in witnessing the insulter’s self-torment.