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Archive: December 13, 2004

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White Christmas

Monday,  12/13/04  06:42 PM

So there we are, we're decorating our house for a Christmas Party.   And Shirley says "wouldn't it be great to listen to Bing Crosby singing 'White Christmas'"?   Yes, it would.

So I launch iTunes and poof! they have like six versions including the "Holiday Inn" version from 1942.   So I buy it (one click) and right now we're listening to good ol' Bing.   What a great song - not only is it old and sentimental and wonderfully nostalgic, but it was wonderfully nostalgic when Irving Berlin wrote it in 1935.   A perfect fit for Bing's slow mellow style, sounds like he's standing next to a roaring fire in an log cabin.   I guess the idea of "going back home for a White Christmas" is pretty fundamental.

Of course we're streaming it in AAC from a [Windows] laptop in my office to a [Mac] PowerBook in our family room, from where it is played via an Airport Express connected to our Yamaha surround sound receiver through our Bose 5.1 speakers.   High tech nostalgia!   Yet somehow it sounds just like a '78 on a scratchy old record player.   Bing would love it.

 

Monday,  12/13/04  10:53 PM

Have you ever noticed that "Why?" is qualitatively different from all the other interrogatives?  ("What?", "When?", "Where?", "Who?", and "How?")  Of all of them, only Why calls for interpretation of human opinion.  All the others call only for fact.  Fascinating.

I've been reading the classic Anne from Green Gables by L.M.Montgomery with my daughter Megan.  (We're really enjoying it; Anne reminds both of us strongly of Megan :)  Anyway this story takes place on Prince Edward Island, a Canadian Province located North-East of Maine.  You would think this is pretty far North, right?  Well guess what, the latitude of P.E.I. is the same as Portland, Oregon, and the south of France!  I guess I always thought of Europe as approximately the same latitude as the United States, but this is way off.  Actually most cities in Europe are far North of the United States.  Amazing.  No wonder it is so cold in Northern Europe!

latitude of Prince Edward Island

John Battelle discusses Google LibraryTalk about a long tail.  They plan to scan, OCR, and index all the books in some of the world's most important libraries.  Incredible.

Akashi Pearl BridgeThis looks cool - the World Wide Panorama Project.  "The week of the Equinox, September 18-22, 2004, photographers around the world created VR panoramas on the theme 'Bridges'.  The site they produced features 186 panoramas, plus interactive maps for navigation."  If you're an aficionado of Quicktime VR pictures, or just like bridges, check this out!  It is especially neat to see those really old bridges in Asia...  [ via Cult of Mac ]

The .NET CPU?  Apparently the CLR doesn't run fast enough as a virtual machine, so a startup is poised to launch an actual machine which runs a subset of the same "instruction set".  Interesting...

car lane departure warning systemFortune magazine has a nice series: The Family Car, circa 2010.  It will includes next generation GPS, self-parking, electronic stability control, night vision, external airbags, driving "by wire", a lane departure warning system, adaptive headlights, blind-spot warning systems, and of course my favorite - adaptive cruise control (my caravans idea is becoming reality!)

 
 

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