Friday, July 13, 2007

Les Paul and Mary Ford

I always thought this guy made guitars or something…well, big surprise, I was a little off. He not only collaborated with Gibson on the most popular solid-body electric guitar design ever, a design that hasn’t changed much since 1952, he also sold over 20 million records in the early 50s with his wife, Mary Ford, and invented multi-track recording (for overdubbing and so on).

He is the only person to be in both the National Inventors Hall of Fame and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Wow...he da man!

So, you can learn something from the tele, you just have to tune in to the right channel…see all about it here.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

The Weathermakers…

…r us. This is a good intro into the science and issues surrounding global warming. Most books focus on climatology and are a little dry as a result. The author of The Weathermakers is a biologist from Australia and discusses global warming in terms of affected species impacts (well, all species are eventually impacted). Australia, New Guinea, and Tasmania are rife with unique fauna and flora and provide a persuasive backdrop to his story. He and other scientists have been noting species movement to cooler zones since the 70’s, a trend that is only accelerating and will led to (additional) extinctions regardless of what we do in the short term. That’s right; we’ve already bought the farm in terms of significant and probably irreversible impacts: Glacier Park in MT-gone, the snows of Kilimanjaro-gone, and so on. This is even if man-made releases of green house gases were to stop today.

This along with Global Warming: The Complete Briefing by John Houghton are the two most user friendly I've read and a good place to start.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007


My kids frequent the movie library at the local university and come home with the wildest stuff.

Seksmisja is better known in these parts by the lurid and suggestive english title, Sexmission. This classic of Polish cinema is a weird combo of comedy and sci-fi and is, in fact, the most popular movie ever made in Poland (honest, it said so on the DVD cover).

Albert and Maksymilian agree to be frozen and returned to life after a period of three years as part of a science experiment. In the meantime, WWIII breaks out and they are forgotten until sometime in the future, when they are revived by the League of Women’s Lib. It turns out they are the only two men left on earth (the women have developed a form of parthenogenesis so men are unnecessary). So, these guys think they're going to get real lucky and some of the women seem interested, but the league eventually decides that, for them to live, they must dispense with their…uh…‘manhood’…all of it. Being two red blooded males in the prime of their lifes, they of course refuse…and escape…you’ll have to see the movie to discover what happens next (not a huge surprise, but why give it all away.

Personally, I was entralled during the entire just never know.