Time + Counting

02018-10-02 @ 19:10

Tonight I found this in a folder on my computer. It’s from earlier this year.

My friend asked me why Flamenco musicians count a bulerias or solea rhythm starting with 12 instead of 1. This was my lengthy answer to him, and I quickly went off topic… :-)

The gypsies took the example of a clock, is what I heard. Looking at the clock face the 12 is at the top, so you start on the 12. The old traditional pattern has accents on 12, 3, 6, 8, 10, then came the newer one you described 12, 3, 7, 8, 10, and now there all kinds of variations of that. So, the clock is probably the cause of starting the count with 12.

Old Byzantine math used 12 as the basis, instead of 10. Decimal time was also called French Revolutionary Time. Anyway, the church wanted to hold on to old Byzantine math, which is why they made a deal with Napoleon. He had been excommunicated by the church, but was feeling his age and wanted the church to accept him again. At the time France was moving to decimal everything, after all they had invented the meter, the kilogram, etc. So naturally the French divided the day into 10 hours instead of 24, which made each hour rather long, into 100 minutes per hour, which made the new minute not much longer than the old minute, and 100 seconds per minute. There are 1,440 minutes, or 86,400 seconds in a 24 hour day, and 1,000 minutes, or 100,000 seconds in the French 10 hour day. It’s what Star Trek time sounds like: 6.3.5 hours, meaning the sixth hour, plus 30 minutes (3/10 out of 100) and 50 seconds (5/10 or half of 100 seconds). Midnight would be zero, 6AM would become 2.5, noon would become 5, 6PM would become 7.5. A 90′ performance as we know it, would last 62.5 new minutes. 120′ would become 83 new minutes. 10 minutes of old time would become 6.94 new minutes. I bet we would get used to it really quickly. Might need two dials on the Apple Watch so we can switch back and forth while we are learning to change. Or a conversion page added to the clock app. Easy!

So anyway, the pope made the condition that if France should go back to the old 24/60/60 division of time, he would lift the excommunication from Napoleon.

On one hand it’s a total bummer that we are still dealing with inches and feet in this country, with the ridiculous armpit scale called Fahrenheit, and a 24 hour day, but on the other hand maybe it’s nice to use some old things that have no value and purpose other than this is how we used to do stuff. It’s not smart, it’s not practical, but it’s a piece of history.

PS: The reason I refer to Fahrenheit as the armpit scale is because 0° = freezing of salt-slush and 100° = the armpit of the inventor’s wife. Unbeknownst to him she was running a fever at the time.

Compare that to the clean and sensible French method of freezing water and boiling water at sea level. Now that makes sense.

Two Years Ago

02010-01-21 @ 05:01

I get up a little before 4AM and start to get ready. While I shower this comes into my mind:
Whatever you want, this world has it.
If it is greed and ignorance you are looking for, we got that.
Selfishness and inflated egos, yes, got that.
Hatred and violence, yes, plenty.
but also…
Poetry and wonder, yes.
Love and care and gentleness, yes.
Beauty, creativity and awe, yes.
Disliking greed and ignorance does not make it go away. Instead we notice more of it.
Hating violence and hatred doesn’t make them go away. It amplifies them and we see hate and violence everywhere.

Sure, we may know this. But, it slips my mind all the time.

All that and a marvelous moon!

Cell Phone Use While Driving

02009-01-13 @ 11:01

National Security Council calls for nationwide bans on cell phone use while driving
The National Security Council sent out a message on Monday that calls for all 50 States to implement bans on citizens using cell phones while driving. The group referred to a study done by the Harvard Center of Risk Analysis, which revealed that 6% of all automobile crashes in the U.S. are caused by cell phones.

And they mean any cellphone use: includes headsets… (((maybe even email and IM?)))

6% of all crashes, about 40,000 traffic deaths per year – does that mean that 2,400 people die every year because somebody had to be distracted by their mobile?

In 2006 I wrote:

I get the sense that in a few years either a chip in each car will prevent a phone from identifying itself to a cell-tower while the car is moving – thus the phone won’t work – or a person applying for a driver’s license will have to master a multi-tasking test in addition to the other tests…

Tuesday, December 9th

02008-12-10 @ 10:12

Snow on the ground. Roads a little slippery.

I spent the afternoon in the studio, recording a guitar solo for a piece of music by slide-guitarist Roy Rogers (((and this is his web site))). We used Dropbox – love that Dropbox!!! – to exchange files: he sent me an mp3 of his guitar to play to, and I uploaded a 24/96k file of my guitar for his album. Roy called in the evening to tell me how much he enjoyed the combination of slide and Flamenco guitar. Flamenco – the Blues of the Gypsies…

In the evening I watched Women in the Dunes, which I had never seen. The photography is spectacular, and I especially liked the scenes of sand-as-water.

The cat George stayed out all night again. Impressive since it was cold, around 20ºF. He does have a thick coat of fur and maybe he has already found a second home, found a warm spot somewhere, or is hunting all night. When he returned in the morning he was hungry and went right to sleep.

Podcasted “Morning Light”, recorded live in Portland this Summer. Recorded by Alan Behr, improved by Jon. If you subscribe to our podcast via iTunes or other means you can download it there. You can also go here to listen or download. (((I was inspired to podcast more free live recordings by four Romanians who drove all the way to Milan to hear me perform in May. Afterwards they requested more live free live recordings to listen to.)))

Apple and Gift

02008-11-13 @ 16:11

No, this is not about poisoned apples

I would like to write an ode to apples, but how could I top Pablo Neruda’s ODA A LA MANZANA (Ode to the Apple) from 1956. What a perfect Autumn fruit! Braeburns, Fujis, Honey Crisps… I could go on. An apple a day etc.

Rode about 12 miles this morning. Rode into town to pick up meds for my dog, then to Counter Culture for breakfast with my favorite bass player. Two more stops along the way and grocery shopping… When one bikes one is a Mensch and I find that people react different to bicycle traffic. Pedestrians smile, other bikers wave, even people in cars sometimes roll down their window and smile. A bicyclist is part of the world, not riding around in an “armored car”, seperated and protected from life, listening to loud music or hiding behind tinted windows… You know what I mean? Santa Fe was not known for being particularly bike-friendly in the past, but – knock wood – I have had only good experiences.

Need more juice for your iPhone? I am looking into this and this option.

Looking for a gift for the holidays?
This is a great idea. And here are two more:
Travertine’s Shea Hand and Nail Cream rocks. Great gift for dry Winter skin. No Parabens!!
Or how about something from Pangea Organics. I use all of their their face-products and the best part is that they are perfect for traveling. The bottles lock up and never open in transit. No parabens, all organic and recyclable glass bottles.

Oh, and we will soon release “Miranda”, Stevo’s first album, wonderfully remastered by Jon Gagan (((if you are working on an album you owe it to your music to contact Jon about mastering your recording!))). “Miranda” contains the music from Steve Stephen PLUS two additional previously unreleased tracks. Stevo also created a new sequence which has a great flow, and I just told him this morning that it feels like a whole new album. We will add “Miranda” to the LL soon, maybe even this week. Other digital download retailers should have the album in a few weeks. We have no plans to manufacture CDs.

Thursday, November 6th

02008-11-06 @ 09:11

It is very frisch this morning – a German word that means “fresh”. Sometimes used instead of cold…
It’s 20ºF or -7ºC. The sky is a clear, cold blue.

Haley Tricycles|Home
Haley Tricycle Co. is dedicated to creating reasonably priced, durable urban cargo tricycles. Our trikes are built for transporting large, heavy, or numerous items around town quickly and efficiently. They are used for personal cargo transport as well as medium commercial use. Haleys use easily serviceable and upgradeable standard bicycle components.
(Via Copenhagenize)

From Philadelphia, PA! And one has to love this:

Discounts are available for students, musicians and artists.

Photo-collage showing the variety of Danish Cargo bikes (from this L.A. Times article)

The exploding lock… not a bad idea. But won’t that push locks over the $100 mark?

Cyclists Fight Back with Exploding Bike Lock : TreeHugger
This bike lock deters the opportunist thief by making the abuser’s experience as unpleasant as possible without having a detrimental effect on the user.

SmartLock is a cable lock that has cores of compressed air and liquid running through its body. If cut, the liquids spray out over the perpetrator, his tools, the bike and the scene of the crime. A bike that has been stolen will be covered in coloured dye (the dye renders the bike undesirable and therefore unsellable )

I remember seeing Jürgen Teller taking photographs at the Yohji Yamamoto show I took part in – 1991 in Paris. Always liked his photos. Here is a video interview with him for a Tate Modern photography exhibition.
He looks to be a good ping-pong player as well…

The new Canon 5D Mark II is an amazing piece of gear. Greg Gorman was using one in September. At first I was baffled why one would want HD video on an SLR camera, but with newspapers moving online there is a higher demand for video and photo-journalists are being asked to provide vid-clips on top of photos. Greg did a demo where he shot video AND took photos – using the photo button freezes the video for maybe two seconds to capture the hi-res still. And check out this video from Tokyo which also highlights the 5D’s low-light capabilities: Tokyo Reality
(Via Gizmodo)

Nice Japanese bags and backpacks:

Traccis backpack
Featured here.
Traccis Web site
(Via Pop Wuping)

Alex Grey is painting Obama – via Santa Fe photographer Jennifer Esperanza’s Flickr.

Watched this following video last week. Fantastic!! One Zander into every high-school!!!

The Benjamin Zander Pop!Cast: “How fascinating!” | The Pop!Tech Blog
Benjamin Zander, conductor of the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra, treated the Pop!Tech audience (and Nikolai, his lucky student) to a transformative music lesson. Now you can view the Pop!Cast and watch as Ben coaxes the magic out of his student, who before our eyes infuses his playing with more passion and joyous emotion then you would think possible from a fifteen-year old.

I’m off to have breakfast with a really good bass-player.

Tuesday, November 4th: Voting Day

02008-11-04 @ 17:11

I hope you have excercised your right to vote.

Cool Japanese Custom Scooter

Alphabet 26:

One man who has been attacking the problem of a simplified alphabet is art director and typographer Bradbury Thompson. Mr. Thompson begins with the premise that there are actually two alphabets in English—an uppercase alphabet and a lowercase alphabet. There are only 26 letters in the language, yet there are 45 symbols for these letters. According to Mr. Thompson, this is an illogical and unnecessary state of affairs.


It was Mr. Thompson’s idea to combine the best upper- and lowercase letters into one simplified, unified alphabet using only 26 symbols. If this proposal were to be accepted, it would be the first step toward clarifying an alphabet that was designed by the Romans to express the sounds of Latin and became the staff of the English language.

I wonder how much is due to writing by hand. Letters need to flow together well for hand-writing to be easy.
We use 3 different shapes for the letter A.

The first shape is clearly the easiest shape to make when writing by hand. I found a font that was designed with Alphabet 26 in mind. It’s called Bodoni 26 and you can find it and purchase it here.
Here is a sample of Bodoni 26:

I find it very easy to read, except for the i. When the i does not have a point (called a tittle in typgraphy) at the top, it becomes more difficult to read:

By the way, the Latin alphabet, which you are now reading, is called a bicameral alphabet because it has two joined alphabets; it has an uppercase and lowercase. Unicameral alphabets (the Arabic and Hebrew alphabets) only have one case.

I wonder whether there have been studies regarding the readability of Alphabet 26 for people with dyslexia.

Quote of the day:

Here it is not enough to think, ‘I should just be content.’ Or, “Well, this is my karma,’ and take no action.”
If there is injustice, then I think inaction is the wrong response. The Buddhist texts mention what is called “misplaced tolerance,” or “misplaced forbearance.” So…misplaced patience or forbearance refers to the sense of endurance that some individuals have when they are subject to a very destructive, negative activity. That is a misplaced forbearance, tolerance and endurance. Similarly, in the work environment, if there is a lot of injustice and exploitation, then to passively tolerate it is the wrong response. The appropriate response really is to actively resist it, to try to change this environment rather than accept it. One should take some action.”

– from The Art of Happiness at Work by His Holiness the Dalai Lama, and Dr. Howard C. Cutler, M.D.
via Weekly Words of Wisdom

Somewhat related Japanese Preverb.

Totally unrelated:

“Hands Up!”
“Hände Ab!” (translation by Otto)

Bought a utility for my laptop. Found this statement and was wondering what it would be like if this was for music instead of software…

While I know that some will say that’s why they use open source software, it’s not really an option for most of us. It’s like saying I don’t need music, whenever we want to hear a particular piece, my friends and family get together, we distribute sheet music and coffee and we play the music.

We take quite an aggressive approach towards piracy. This is because we have suffered significant losses in the past and we wouldn’t be able to sustain our prices (and therefore our business) if we didn’t take such measures. Here are some of the measures we have taken:

*The download links that we use for our products have timeouts and are unique to each customer.
*We employ a registration process that effectively personalises our products so that if they are widely distributed, we can ascertain its true source.
*We periodically scan the Internet for pirated copies of our products.

If we do find that our products have been distributed, the best the culprits can hope for is being banned from our site permanently, and having their ISP and maybe also their boss notified about their illegal activities.

Please understand that a lot of hard work goes into developing our products and so it’s very upsetting for us when we find our products stolen and given away for free.

Been getting loads of sign-ups for our mailing list that look like this…

Email: fygcri@uektnw.com
Real Name: oBbefKtFy
Location: QKcwyNyw
Comment: xjEARg glysojdcyfjv, [url=http://fdggyefgcodk.com/]fdggyefgcodk[/url], [link=http://hsnrpmgupsif.com/]hsnrpmgupsif[/link], http://thsaywqjmomg.com/

What’s the deal with stuff like that, besides trying to gum-up the works. Is there anybody stupid enough to click on that? Anyway, we are now using the reCaptcha I mentioned before for our mailing list signup.

I think tonight I will open a nice bottle of Spanish red and watch a movie while constantly checking the polls. By the time the winner is announced I hope to be ready to dance a jig or too drunk to care. Like most people I think the world might end if the other candidate wins. May the best man win.

Thursday, October 30th

02008-10-30 @ 21:10

Rode my Brompton (yesterday I rode the other one, which now sports this saddle) to breakfast with Jon. Haven’t used my car in several days. I wonder how long I can go without a car if I get one of these or these.

Looked up VHEMT because it came up in our conversation and came across this quote:

Man in his misguidance has powerfully interfered with nature. He has devastated the forests, and thereby even changed the atmospheric conditions and the climate. Some species of plants and animals have become entirely extinct through man, although they were essential in the economy of Nature. Everywhere the purity of the air is affected by smoke and the like, and the rivers are defiled. These and other things are serious encroachments upon Nature, which men nowadays entirely overlook but which are of the greatest importance, and at once show their evil effect not only upon plants but upon animals as well, the latter not having the endurance and power of resistance of man.”
– Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832)

I believe that’s a quote from Goethe’s Faust. (Ich lese zur Zeit Gespräche mit Goethe)

I mean, we have known this to be true… but we have not known it in our bones. I hope we can come together and preserve nature for our children and beyond.

After breakfast, which lasted a good hour and fortyfive minutes, I stopped by Mellow Velo and ordered a pair of pant cuff clips like these. My grandfather always rode a bike to work and I remember him having some exactly like that.

Played guitar for a couple of hours in the afternoon. Amazing how practicing creates a physical sensation of well-being for me. Then zazen and dinner and now I am heading into the studio to work on new mixes for The Santa Fe Sessions. I started stripping away everything that isn’t essential and the songs begin to sparkle and shine in a new way.


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