Thursday, January 31, 2008

Proof of Evolution!

I had a drunken conversation about the evolution/creation "debate" a few weeks ago and wish I had had a copy of this on me just to settle the matter for once and for all:

Oil Company Makes Some Money

The Independent (UK) reported today that the Shell oil company makes nearly $3 million per hour adding up to a $27.6 billion dollar profit this year. While many who read this may say, "Way to go! Keep up the good work!" and others may respond, "But I pay so much at the gas pump! It's not fair!" Jeroen van der Veer, cheif executive of said company offered this: "Overall these are satisfactory results." 

(photo from Wiki)

Dipping It In Acid Would Be The Humane Thing To Do

Apparently, scientists experimenting with mole rats and acid (I want that job) have discovered that the unfortunate-looking things have no receptors for acidity. I urge anyone who finds one of these things lurking in their bed or pantry to dispose of them in a manner that will not cause them pain. From Live Science:

"As vulnerable as naked mole rats seem, researchers now find the hairless, bucktoothed rodents are invulnerable to the pain of acid and the sting of chili peppers. A better understanding of pain resistance in these sausage-like creatures could lead to new drugs for people with chronic pain, scientists added."

(photo from Wikipedia)

The War on Terror Has Never Looked Like So Much Fun!

This looks promising! I've got 3 siblings and we grew up playing Risk and Monopoly until someone cried. Come to think of it, the aim of most of our activities usually centered on making someone cry. This game seems like it was made for my family. From the website: 
"Everyone starts with the best intentions. Then things start to get cramped. Then you notice your neighbour has more oil than you. Before long, war is waged, nukes are dropped, revolutions are fought and terrorists are doing your dirty work, before turning on you..."

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

I So Want To Try This... soon as I see someone else do it without getting hurt. I may have been a bit of a pyromaniac when I was a kid, but I'm still not comfortable about holding things on fire in the palm of my hand. 

(via Cynical-C, among others)

Update: I've tried it, and it was indeed cool. I'm not as brave as the guy in the video and the ball was more of a square with some string around it. I'm guessing the closer to a sphere you get the less likely the string will catch fire and burn your hands. Lemme know if anyone has better luck / gets injured. 

Bush and Religion

I just read an extract from Jacob Weisberg's The Bush Tragedy in the Times (UK). It deals with and questions the convenience of Bush's religion. Most of the questions stem from the evangelical minister Doug Wead (or "Weadie," to Bush), as he recalls Bush's lack of interest in religion except as a political tool. From the extract:
 'He recalled that Bush said: “This is just great! I can become governor of Texas just with the evangelical vote.”'
I'm amazed that anyone ever bought into his religious persona. In being born-again, Bush was able to place his marital, drinking and drug problems and his lack of achievement (as well as his numerous failures) in a box that was off limits. It also allowed him to display his simplified view of the world in a Good/Evil context that was admired by at least some of the population instead of ridiculed. It's a mask he can put on, along with his Texas one, and when someone points out how much his policies are hurting the world he can chuckle and say he's just doing "god's work."

This Is All I've Figured Out How To Do

Ok, I'm going to rely heavily on YouTube until I figure out how do better things. Here's Gilles Apap taking some liberty with his cadenza in the middle of the 3rd movement of Mozart's 3rd Violin Concerto. Most attempts at making classical music "hip" fail miserably. Gilles is an exception and, while he does seem to make a few of the orchestra members uncomfortable, its only because he's cooler than them. 

This is Your Narrator

So this seems to be working, though I can't shake the feeling I'm talking to myself. I'll just pretend I have one of those wireless cell phone things jammed in my ear. I'm a classical musician and have plenty of free time between rehearsals/concerts and occasionally practicing. I'm hoping this blogging experience doesn't give me an excuse to practice even less, as being a musician should be a difficult progression towards "perfection." My problem is that I hit a comfortable plateau many years ago where I could play well enough to not have to struggle at the same time as finding interests outside of the small scope of classical music. I studied philosophy and argued about politics and religion and pretty much was content on my plateau. I'm now back in the world of classical music (albeit a regional Mexican orchestra with plenty of problems), and hope to use this blog to serve my other interests. That being said, which candidate would you, my dear reader, like to have win the US election?  

Tuesday, January 29, 2008


"Something is very wrong and all men are mild lunatics engaged in pursuits that seem to them very important while an absurdly logical force keeps them at their futile jobs"

Good Music

While I don't intend for this site to be a compilation of YouTube videos, I've got to start somewhere and figured I'd put some music up too. 

John Zorn - Khebar

Cats and the Fiddle Killin' Jive

Mahler 5

BBC Is Awesome

I wish American television offered anything nearly as good as these documentaries by Adam Curtis on BBC. 

The power of Nightmares 

The Trap 
The Century of Self

I Made This!

I made this! It's going to take some time to get into this and to figure out what I'm doing and what I want to do. I'm not yet ready to be excited about the exclamation I started this with but I hope to say a few things about the world from the view of a lazy orchestral musician living in Mexico. As that probably won't prove to be very exciting I'll try to post other things that are. Maybe some pretty pictures, too.