Sunday, February 8, 2009

From Ships at Sea to the Key of C

Interesting Things

Pirates Get $3.2 Million
For Ship Full Of Arms

Money dropped by parachute to Somali pirates

The pirates seized the Ukrainian vessel
on September 25, 2008. The Belize-flagged ship had been sailing to Kenya carrying a cargo of military hardware, including about 30 tanks, spare parts and armor. The crew comprised 17 Ukrainians, two Russians and one citizen of Latvia.

Soon after the pirates left
on Thursday night, U.S. sailors boarded the Faina to administer first aid, technical assistance and food and water to the crew.

I am pretty sure the navy want's to see who comes to claim the military hardware when the ship gets to port.

You may recall reading this story here in this blog.
To get the back story, type "pirates" in the blog search box.

New Mars Rover Idea

A different approach to Mars roving

A Web video showing an Axel test-run at the JPL Mars yard is online at: .

Last NOAA-N Prime Satellite

Up, up, and away at Vandenberg, 2:22AM 2/6/2009

NOAA-N Prime is the last in a series of polar-orbiting satellites that have been observing Earth's weather since 1960. Its data will be used for long-range weather and climate forecasts.

The satellite also carries sensors that can receive distress signals from mariners and hikers.

Red or Blue?

ScienceDaily (Feb. 6, 2009) — A new University of British Columbia study reconciles a debate that has long raged among marketers and psychologists: What colour most improves brain performance and receptivity to advertising, red or blue?

It turns out they both can, it just depends on the nature of the task or message. The study, which could have major implications for advertising and interior design, finds that red is the most effective at enhancing our attention to detail, while blue is best at boosting our ability to think creatively.

Red boosted performance on detail-oriented tasks such as memory retrieval and proofreading by as much as 31 per cent compared to blue. Conversely, for creative tasks such as brainstorming, blue environmental cues prompted participants to produce twice as many creative outputs as when under the red color condition.

I am so glad these scientists have re-invented the wheel. Another recent study concluded that women can attract men with the color red. Do these people even read a book? What color is lipstick? What's another name for red high heels? Lady in red? Red light district? Her name was Scarlet? Our country needs to spend more money and effort teaching history.

Guided Missile Ship

Run Aground

USS Port Royal stuck on a reef near Honolulu

The U.S. Pacific Fleet says Navy tugboats and salvage ship USS Salvor tried to tow the USS Port Royal early Saturday but the guided missile cruiser remained stuck.

The Navy says it plans to try again after extracting fuel and water from the $1 billion vessel.

They couldn't guide a ship full of guided missiles!

This is what you get when you waste money on war instead of investing it in education.

We Really Are What We Eat

Big teeth and supporting bone for cracking nuts and seeds.

An early human who lived between
two and three million years ago had teeth and jaws that functioned like a nutcracker, allowing the individual to bite through nutshells with ease, according to a new study.
The discoveries suggest that the modern human body form evolved, in part, to match what food we could find.
Japanese Probe Heads Home

Graphic of Hayabusa landing on Itokawa asteroid.

The spacecraft is expected to return in June 2010 to deliver a sample canister that will plunge through the atmosphere and land on Earth.

The Hayabusa uses an ion propulsion
system to travel the vast distances of space. The method allows spacecraft to fly farther with less fuel. NASA is using an ion drive on its Dawn spacecraft.

Old Behavior Patterns

I went to the music store
to check out condenser microphones Saturday, and while I was there, I saw a drummer I know. He was trying out a set of electronic drums. We said hello and I went to talk to Bernie, the store owner, about microphones. He and I talked about what I planned to use it for, and after I told him I would be using it for everything from sax, vocals, birds and waterfalls, he suggested I try the AudioTechnica Pro 37. It was a little more than I wanted to spend, but he assured me I could return it if it didn't fulfill my expectations. Fair enough.

A/T Pro 37 Cardioid Condenser microphone
On my way out, I showed it to Steve and I mentioned that I was looking for an adapter from XLR to USB so I could use the phantom power from the MacBook when I did recordings in nature. He does sound mixing also, and has a Behringer mixer similar to mine. His suggestion was that I find a battery to power my mixer so I could use that to power my mic out in the woods.

As Steve and I were discussing
power supplies, the keyboard player that likes to play with me at LuLu's came in to the store. We said hi, and he let me know he would be playing with me on Thursday. I said, "Thanks, that's great. I enjoy it when you play." I introduced him to Steve and we talked "musician stuff" for a few minutes.

Here is what is bothering me
now; I didn't introduce myself to the woman who was with Rick. I spoke with her and she participated in the conversation, but I realize that Steve, Rick and I, were acting like musicians, in that she did not get an introduction. At the time I figured Rick would introduce her if he wanted to, or that she would introduce herself if she wanted to, but I could have been more inclusive.

Now that I have
a band again, and I will be around musicians more often, I will have to practice better social skills.

I tried the mic on my guitar and on a couple of vocals. Very impressive. It is more sensitive to directional placement toward the acoustic guitar. My Beyer dynamic mic's tend to produce pretty much the same result no matter what part of the guitar they are pointed at.
The Pro 37 readily picked up the changes in tones and the nature of the sound as I moved the guitar across the mic's pattern of reception. The difference was amazing.

It really showed an improvement in capturing the nuances of my voice while singing or speaking. I think I will keep it.

It also gave me a chance
to play with Garage Band as a recording program. I can do the types of recording that I was doing with Audacity, now with this new program. It has a bunch of stuff to make music if you don't know how to play, but I don't have much use for that at this stage of the game. It has features for iMovie and podcasts that I hope to explore soon.

Today's Relatively Appropriate Song;

A Morning In The Australian Bush

Natural Songs of Joy

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