Coagula, the industrial strength color note organ, lets you convert pictures into sound samples.
My campus had an outdoor book sale today, and I picked up some books on mathematics, political histories, the philosophy of science, and 1970's biofeedback research. I've just started The Nature and Growth of Modern Mathematics, a detailed history of mathematics that starts with the Babylonians. ($75 new, 25¢ used)
I mailed out my Burn, Baby, Burn swap CDs yesterday. The victims of my college-radio fury are: Dori Smith, Casey Pearson, John Scalzi, Clinton Nixon, and Sam Ryan. They've got some great sites, and I just hope my opening with a Thrill Kill Kult [disco] track doesn't deter them from the rest of the mix.
A few weeks ago I mentioned that I was working on coding a physics model similar to the one used by Sodaplay. I finished it, but it's got a ton of little problems, especially stability — strong springs in a graph with many cycles results in chaotic jitters.
An alternative: In high school we used a product called Geometer's Sketchpad, with which you could draw interactive geometric diagrams. For example, you might draw two lines where one's endpoint bisects the other; as you manipulated the length of the second line, the other would shift. This would actually be pretty easy to implement: a list of objects like lines and circles, connected as a graph with constraints like relative angles and attachments; if one object is moved, the next placement is stored, and rigidity is detected by conflicting placements in a single object.
I've got a whole list of things to do this summer. I need to learn Sig++ and some XML, and finish off some sort of dynamics model. I'd like to study some topology as well, since I don't have time to take a class.
Yesterday, I saw an ancient car blasting hip hop with so much bass that the entire back end was rattling. Enough bass, in fact, that the muffler fell off right in front of me. Physics: 1, Hip Hop: zerizzo.
The weather is getting better, with two cloudless days at 70º+. For the first time in years, I really appreciate the brightness. Winter just wasn't right; seems like we were all just drifting about, too preoccupied for coats.
Bad Subjects is a long-running magazine about the politics of everyday life. In the past, they've covered things like morphing and identity politics in 1995 and computer virus hoaxes as urban legends in 1998. Recently, despite being a radical left journal (my slant of choice), they've published the most concise Chomsky-knocking line ever: "Chomsky lives in a Newtonian universe of leftism where political mass and gravitational effects are predictable, and where good and bad actors spin in a foreordained social dance."
I just came across Out Of Control, a book about distributed intellegence and bio-logic. It looks great, and the whole text is online.
From the Modern Humorist: H.A.T.A. - Inside the Naz/Jay Z fued. "March 1997, At Biggie Smalls’ funeral, Jay-Z and Nas use the same sample—from 'From a Distance'—as the basis for their eulogies. Biggie attempts to roll over in his grave but has no wiggle room."
Another homework freakout weekend. I wrote an anthropology presentation about Japanese character goods, the cuteness craze, and what the morphology of Hello Kitty and Tarepanda says about Japanese culture ("stubby hands mean fascist male oppression!"). I'm going to web it up with photos and diagrams, and post it soon. For now, check out these Hello Kitty teeth. So terribly un-kawaii.