You get a three-fer this holiday weekend, a trio of nifty things that came into my ken this past week.
Thanks to a blurb in the Globe and Mail, I was introduced to Moby, the musician who walks among us as Richard Melville Hall and who specializes in electronica, ambient music, downtempo, and the like (if that last can make any sense). Take a listen to his collaboration with Cold Specks, a Canadian singer living in London whose haunting alto is spot on for the song, A Case for Shame:
[soundcloud url=”http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/98822483″ params=”” width=” 100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]
There’s also a somewhat creepy(?) video of the song on YouTube. And the tune gives me a chance to recommend SoundCloud to you. There’s more Moby there — as well as tons of indie music (and talk) you might not find elsewhere.
I’ve praised the comics of xkcd to you before. But clearly I haven’t been taking my own leads seriously enough (or some things didn’t make it through the RSS feed properly), because I completely missed one of his niftiest creations. His “Time” saga played out over three months and involved 3,095 images that updated automatically such that they created a film. It tells the story of a man and a woman in the far future who experience the effects of rising sea levels. You can watch the animation here.
And another thing I hadn’t known: there’s a site to “explain” xkcd to you (“It’s cause you’re dumb.”), which does a bang up job of fleshing out (not to say crushing) the “Time” animation.
. . . makes poetry. Well, in truth it was William Carlos Williams who made the poetry, but the bot plays a word substitution game with one of his simplest and best poems:
This Is Just To Say
I have eaten
that were in
you were probably
they were delicious
and so cold
Now, on Twitter, @JustToSayBot omits the second verse and replaces the two nouns in the first verse and the three adjectives in the last verse with seemingly random substitutes, the whole coming in always at or under 140 characters. Smart of the bot to have seen that Twitter leaves carriage returns in place, something just right for poetry. One good result of this process is:
I have eaten
that were in
they were cancerous
and so fresh
There’s more miss than hit here, but some gems emerge, and, because it’s a quality of a “poetic setup,” ambiguity and incongruity have a way of making you think and feel a bit more expansively than you might otherwise. Should be mandatory for law students.