Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The Picasa 3.8 Release

The Picasa 3 ReadMe: "Face Movie — This is a definite must-see. Create a movie based around a person. As the photos transition from one to another the subject’s face stays aligned in one focus area, creating a unique viewing experience."

Very cool - reason alone to use Picasa if you aren't already.


Sunday, August 29, 2010

Miracle on Ice

We had lunch in Lake Placid on the way back home from Maine this summer. I have been in a lot of famous places but this one really felt like the excitement of February 22, 1980 never completely went away.


Friday, August 27, 2010

Teenage Fanclub

After first gaining acclaim for a densely melodic sound which anticipated the coming emergence of grunge, Scotland's Teenage Fanclub spent the remainder of their career as torch-bearers for the power pop revival, unparalleled among their generation for both their unwavering adherence to and brilliant reinvention of the classic guitar pop approach of vintage acts like Big Star and Badfinger. Blessed with the talents of three formidable singers and songwriters (Norman Blake, Gerard Love, and Raymond McGinley, respectively) all sharing an unerring knack for crafting immediately infectious melodies, Teenage Fanclub's radiant brand of pop classicism enjoyed only a brief moment devotion to its unapologetically old-fashioned sensibility yielded of commercial and critical vogue, and over time, the band's dogged increasingly dwindling fan base and virtually non-existent record sales. Nevertheless, almost none of their contemporaries can claim either Teenage Fanclub's consistency or longevity though never groundbreaking or hip, their music possesses a timelessness and accessibility matched by precious few.

Read more: http://www.myspace.com/theteenagefanclub


Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Melt-In-Your Mouth Scottish Shortbread Cookies


1 1/4 c. powdered sugar
4 c. flour (bleached flour works best)
2 tbsp. cornstarch
4 cubes butter (no substitutions, please) room temperature

Stir together powdered sugar, flour and cornstarch. Cut in butter until dough is consistency of play dough. Divide dough into 4 equal parts. Form into balls. With rolling pin on very lightly floured surface, shape each ball into a 1/4 inch thick round. Transfer to baking sheets (two cookies per sheet). Prick each cookie with a fork in a pretty design. Bake at 275 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes.

When cooled, break apart into pie wedge sections.

Note: 1 cube of butter equals 1/2 cup or 8 tablespoons butter (one stick).

Melt-In-Your Mouth Scottish Shortbread Cookies


Friday, August 20, 2010

Seasick Steve

Three years since his belated breakthrough into the mainstream, the cult of Seasick Steve shows no sign of abating. These days, the former hobo is more accustomed to playing the Royal Albert Hall and Hyde Park than the street corners where he honed his craft as a busker.

Sixty-nine-year-old Steve Wold is an oddly avuncular presence. He got his name from "puking all night" on a ferry in Norway and his 3-stringed guitar is supposedly haunted. Steve married his 2nd wife in 1982 and they have lived in 59 different homes throughout Europe.

Listen to more at his official myspace page.


Thursday, August 19, 2010

Space Station Kia UnBuckle Synchronicity

So my friend and I jump into my Kia to head to the Quickstop for some fine stogies. The radio is on NPR and there is a story about problems with the cooling system on the International Space Station. After driving about a block, my seat belt comes unbuckled to which my friend says, "That's not a very good feature - a seatbelt that unbuckles itself." As I was re-buckling, the commentator on the radio describing the repair that was planned for the space station said the astronauts would need to "unbuckle" some component. My friend said, "Did he just say 'unbuckle'?" to which the commentator used the word "unbuckle" again.

The International Space Station is the largest structure ever built in space. Its backbone-like main truss is as long as a football field and the station can clearly be seen from Earth by the naked eye, sometimes rivaling the planet Venus in brightness. Today, the space station is home to crews of up to six astronauts representing five different space agencies and 15 countries that built it. Construction on the $100 billion International Space Station began in 1998 and is expected to be completed by mid-2011. SPACE.com looks at the space station from the inside out to take a close look at the orbiting lab.


Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Justice @ Harvard

Justice is one of the most popular courses in Harvard’s history. Nearly one thousand students pack Harvard’s historic Sanders Theatre to hear Professor Sandel talk about justice, equality, democracy, and citizenship. Now it’s your turn to take the same journey in moral reflection that has captivated more than 14,000 students, as Harvard opens its classroom to the world.

This course aims to help viewers become more critically minded thinkers about the moral decisions we all face in our everyday lives.

In this 12-part series, Sandel challenges us with difficult moral dilemmas and asks our opinion about the right thing to do.

He then asks us to examine our answers in the light of new scenarios. The result is often surprising, revealing that important moral questions are never black and white.

Sorting out these contradictions sharpens our own moral convictions and gives us the moral clarity to better understand the opposing views we confront in a democracy.

Justice with Michael Sandel


Friday, August 13, 2010

School of Seven Bells

Like many bands before them, School of Seven Bells was born as the result of a late-night revelation. Benjamin Curtis connected with sisters Alejandra and Claudia Deheza in 2004 while their bands -- Secret Machines and On!Air!Library!, respectively -- were on tour. While watching PBS at 3am, Alejandra caught a show about the School of Seven Bells: a mythical South American pickpocket academy that may or may not have existed in the '80s. The idea of seven minds working as one appealed to her, as did the phrase's cryptic musicality, and a creative spark ignited.