Monday, September 10, 2007

City Gall

Except that they are both members of the same political party and both part of the worst City Council in memory, Peter Ladner and Sam Sullivan have little in common.

Except that they both succumb to the temptation to fight in public.

Ladner has written a lengthy and interesting op-ed piece in today's Sun, praising the city and damning CUPE in the strike.

I am sure I speak for thousands when I say this: "Please be quiet, get back to the table and do whatever it takes to end this nonsense asap."

Stevie Wonder ~ Superstition

The Many Reasons & Seasons of Stevie Wonder(ful)

Dav Levitan of mcGill wrote the following for Crooks & Liars about the Stevie Wonder song playing above:

One element that gives “Superstition” its great groove is Stevie Wonder’s drumming. In the opening few seconds of “Superstition,” when Stevie’s high-hat cymbal is playing alone, you can hear part of the secret to the song’s groove. The beat Stevie plays on the high-hat is never exactly the same way twice; he throws in little extra taps, hits, and rests. Moreover, every note that he plays on the cymbal has a slightly different volume– nuances in his performance that add to the sense of tension. The genius of his playing is that he keeps us on our mental toes by changing aspects of the pattern every time he plays it, holding just enough of it the same to keep us grounded and oriented. Here, he plays the same rhythm at the beginning of each line, but changes the rhythm in the second part of the line, in a “call-and-response” pattern. Our brains are giant prediction machines and music offers them a great playground. We like it when musicians sometimes violate our expectations in interesting ways because the brain then learns that there exists a different way to complete the pattern than it thought. And our brains have evolved to like learning.

Don't Take Technology for Granted. So much of Today's World is Truly Astonishing

Yesterday we were sitting in a cafe on the UBC campus in the middle of our bike ride through the Pacific Spirit Park forest.

The room was quiet. Almost everyone was working on his or her computer.

Most of the computers were small and recent models.

I was struck by this amazing fact:

Almost all of human knowledge in available to each and everyone of these young students on a slim "machine" that fits easily into a backpack. Many are being operated by batteries, and all are "on line" (which is to say, plugged into the universal flow of all available human information) by "wireless" commands.

Some things aren't available, of course.

NASA's launch secrets. The FBI's files on you and your cousin, Eddie. The entire genome sequence for Baltimore's East Side.

But Google has been adding total LIBRARIES to the web for several years now. Enter "Harvard" in your search engine and galaxies of light years of info will open up.

I realize that all of this is now taken for granted, as the availability of a fresh loaf of bread is available at your corner store and you no longer have to pound grain on stone and heat recesses in a wall to get bread.

But allow me to catch my breath for a moment and be amazed.

From Our Good Friend Bill

"Political Correctness is a doctrine fostered by a delusional minority and by the mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end."