About me

I'm a geek working as a distance learning specialist for a large corporation.

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This is my favorite way to listen to music now.

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(Unfortunately, only works in IE.)

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Quitting Facebook just got easier - NY Times In the wake of the recent controversy, including NY Times coverage, Facebook has announced it will delete users permanently upon request. The request mustFacebook changes deletion policy

On the heels of the success of Torchwood: Children of Earth, the following clip has been released for the next Doctor Who special: The companion here is Adelaide, played by LindsayThe Doctor is all wet... on Mars - Tuesday TubeWatch

Today I left my house. No, really, it's true. There wasn't a computer monitor anywhere near me for hours. Well, okay, except for when we stopped at Best Buy, but other thanGeek field maneuvers (without the proper tech)

Okay, that may be overstating it slightly, but comic book properties are getting a lot more attention in the last few years. The encouraging thing is that they are usuallyGraphic novels are all the rage - Tuesday TubeWatch

Two incredible shows are currently on the edge of cancellation, if reports are to be believed, and NBC seems to be saying that they won't even air episodes that wereNBC is sharpening its axe

GateWorld - Cooper: SG-1 will go on On the heels of the long-running series' landmark 200th episode, the Sci-Fi Channel has chosen not to renew Stargate SG-1 for an 11th season.Stargate SG-1: Over and Out?

At a recent Rangers game, a couple was caught on film denying a game ball to a crying toddler, and they have been put through the social media ringer over"Stolen" baseballs

In Minority Report, Tom Cruise's character was able to interact with a very cool looking computer desktop that he could manipulate with special gloves just by waving his hands around. [captionTuesday TubeWatch: Minority Report to Sixth Sense to PHUD - Interface Advancement and Integration

Slice of Scifi - Science Fiction TV & Movie News, Interviews & more » The New R2D2 Projector Got a home theater? Don't care about picture quality, but want your own"Help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi"

I've been excited and worried about this one for a long time. Green Lantern is an exceptionally hard character to pull off in live-action. More than most other super-heroes, theGreen Lantern - first trailer

I enjoyed the original Cheaper by the Dozen. [tag]Steve Martin[/tag] is one of my favorite comedic actors, and [tag]Bonnie Hunt[/tag] combines sweet and funny better than almost anyone. Adding [tag]EugeneReview: Cheaper by the Dozen 2

Sodium Party This site is great! Science with a kick. I love it. Sodium metal reacts rather badly with water. That makes for some great videos! The site has the same kind ofSodium: A real blast at pool parties

So, today's my birthday. 40th, if you're wondering. I'm feeling slightly more like looking back and seeing how things have gone to this point than I have for previous birthdays,Birthday pimpin'

Okay, look, here's the thing: Doctor Who travelling to some alternate reality where he meets Bugs Bunny would be incredibly cool in a very strange, and possibly acid-induced way. It'sTuesday TubeWatch Two-fer! Doctor Who meets Bugs Bunny!

[article no longer available]Thomson Announces Strategic Realignment of Operations; Company to Sell Education Businesses - MarketWatch [tag]Thomson NETg[/tag] and [tag]SkillSoft[/tag] have been trading 1st and 2nd place in the [tag]enterprise e-learning[/tag]SkillSoft buys NETg

A colorful cavalcade of classical coolness

This excites me on many levels. It’s so simple, and yet so cool.

It’s not at all new either. In fact, there’s a multi-award winning film that uses something very similar in its most famous scene. (Comment below if you know what it is.)

What is it, and why does it excite me?

Don’t laugh.

It’s a bar graph.

Yes, seriously.

Wait, wait! Don’t go… it’s not just any old bar graph. This one moves. And it lights up. And there’s music.

Starting to see the cool yet?

Yeah, I probably wouldn’t either, if I was just reading this. Stick with me.

Let’s package it this way: This is a different way to experience music – visually and accurately. We’ve all seen light shows of one kind or another accompanying music, but most of the time it’s just pulsating to the beat or rhythms or some approximation thereof. What we’ve got below is accurate parts, durations, and relative pitch of the notes in a song depicted in a way that you could actually learn something about the music itself.

Check this out as a “simple” example from J.S. Bach:

I call that simple only because it’s one instrument and pretty easy to see how the thing works. But check out the first movement from Mozart’s Symphony #40 in G-minor (one of his best, for my money). For some people this may be a better example because you can actually follow a single instrument through the symphony (for instance, green is the violin (with other strings in shades of green)):

Beyond that fact that I just think it looks neat, I really think this could be used to get people to think of music in a different way. It could be used to help people see the connection between music and math (you can’t get a bar graph without math!). In our increasingly visually driven society, it could be used to help show the ebb and flow of the musical lines, and the intertwining of parts to create the whole. Heck, maybe it could even be used to help the deaf experience music in a new way (maybe it already is, for all I know).

Because this is based on MIDI, it would be pretty easy to single out a given part or parts for display to focus on just the brass, for example. All sorts of ways to slice and dice this.

Like I said, this excites me in many ways: as a music lover, as a technology geek, as an (extremely) amateur composer, and as a trainer/educator. It’s just plain cool.

In case you’re interested in how this works (from the technology side), it’s actually pretty simple. It’s a visual representation of MIDI, which has been around for quite a while (I actually programmed my computer to play the “Ghostbusters” song in MIDI back in the 80’s). MIDI is a mathematical representation of pitch and duration for each note in a score/song. Run that MIDI file through this free software, and it reads all that math and gives you that scrolling bar graph (or even a few other visual options). It’s fun! :)

Do did you figure out which movie used a colored bar representation for music yet? Here’s a hint… ba-ba-da-BUM-BUM!

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