2 years, 2 months ago
Jess and I went to a Future Islands concert on Monday night. If you don't know, future Islands is rock/pop/electronic band. They are hard to categorize.
This was honestly one of my favorite concerts ever. The frontman/singer is a truly great performer. He is known for his over-the-top dance moves and outrageous voices, but, when seeing it live, it's clear that he is living through the music and is putting no effort or energy into acting 'normal'. And if that means busting out a silly dance move while screaming, he ain't gonna hold back.
I could tell the audience was feeding off of his energy. I've never seen a crowd that was so happy. Everyone was on their feet and having a good time. Songs were punctuated with long stretches of applause - everyone was in awe!
Speaking of the audience - it was a very diverse crowd. We saw all ages enjoying this show.
Anyways - this was a great show. I'm looking forward to the next time they're in town. Below is a full concert from about 3 years ago. They have a lot of newer material, but this particular concert video is a part of the history of Comet. I basically listened to this concert on loop when I programmed the first version of Comet.
2 years, 2 months ago
I like to be creative and make things. One thing I don't ever make - and don't ever expect to make - is music. I am happy to just listen. Since I am completely unaware of the majority of things that go into making and performing music. I am forced to just enjoy the apparent mystery of it all. That might make listening more enjoyable in some ways.
I recently found some interesting music performances online. The first was by a band called "The Academic." Last week, they live streamed a performance on Facebook. While live streaming, they connected to their own feed and allowed it to loop back on itself. Like when you point a camcorder at a TV and it creates an infinite loop. They took advantage of the loop and used it to layer an entire song together piece by piece. One thing that was especially interesting is that the singer adds words to the chorus of the song as it progresses. That's a neat concept - unfortunately the lyrics of the song make very little sense, and the song itself isn't really great. If you want to check it out, you can click here.
I also found a song by a Hawaiian reggae singer named Mike Love (no relation to Mike Love of the Beach Boys). Now - fair warning - this is some Northampton-grade hippie stuff, plus he's singing about going against the "corporate lifestyle". During the song, he uses an electronic loop to record bits and pieces of a chorus. Then, as it loops, he adds more pieces as it goes. It's really incredible. The song is actually pretty good. You can fast-forward to around 4:00 minutes where he starts doing the insane loop, or watch it from the beginning if you want to get the true experience, maaan.
Depending on which browser you use to view this site, images might sometimes show up sideways or upside down if uploaded from a phone. Here is a (slightly technical) explanation of why this is happening:
If you take a picture on your phone while holding it sideways or upside down, the phone recognizes it is being held that way and it can correct for that rotation. However, if you look at the actual data of the photo, the rotation is not actually corrected. The photo data is still saved sideways/upside down - the phone just added a little hidden note to the photo that explains how it should be rotated. Phones do this because it's much faster for the phone to just save an incorrectly rotated image along with a note than it is to actually rotate the image. This way, the phone can save a photo quickly and almost instantly be ready to take another photo.
Some browsers know to look at that little hidden note and to rotate an image based on the note; for example, the built-in browser on the iphone does this automatically. Some browser don't. I actually found the bug report on this for the Chrome browser (bad news, the bug report is from 2010 and its still not "fixed"). Most non-mobile browsers seem to be holding off on "fixing" this because a unified standard hasn't been set yet. Android phones and iPhones write those hidden notes differently at the moment.
In the old version of comet, I wrote a nice piece of code to automatically fix the rotation. For this version of comet, the back-end is a bit more complicated and I am not 100% sure what the best method of fixing this will be (I have a few ideas, but I haven't tested them out yet).
So - long story short - we will need to live with the silly sideways or upside down photos for a little while. If you look at the site on your phone, it should be fine. Once I fix this, I will delete this post and we will all pretend like this site was always perfect.
We met Sam and Natasha in Cambridge today for the 'Smoke This Ribfest.' It was a BBQ rib festival. We had a great time and ate a bunch of ribs. At the end we could vote for the best rib. I'm not sure what everyone voted for, but it sounded like the ribs made by the taco shop 'Lone Star' were the general favorite of our gang.
Now you might be wondering why I posted a picture of Holy Smokes - the BBQ joint from Turners Falls. The main reason is because I failed to take a picture of the festival in Cambridge. But it's also because Sam and I were talking about Holy Smokes, and he said that name was a triple pun. 'Holy' because it was an old church, 'Smokes' because they made BBQ, and 'Holy Smokes' because that's what someone might have said when it burned down in 2007.
I was off from work on Friday to spend the day studying. I spent the day in the library, and it went well.
Part way into the day, I got an alert from Amazon that their "Treasure Truck" was selling the Super Nintendo Classic Edition. I didn't know what the Treasure Truck is, and I didn't know what the SNES Classic is - but I impulse bought this (on my phone) anyways. I've heard on Reddit that this was hard to find in stores, so I figured I had to go fast.
After studying/work, Jess, Violet, and I set out to discover what this truck was - and what I bought.
First of all, here's how the the Amazon Treasure Truck works. It sells only a single item at a time, and I think the item is usually something special (as in, a good sale price or a hard-to-get product). It tells you what the item is using an alert on your phone - and if you want it, you pay for it through Amazon.com. Then you travel to the truck to pick it up (this time it was in the Boston Seaport, but I suppose that could change because, you know...it's a truck.)
So after picking it up, I was able to learn more about what exactly this SNES Classic is. It's a mini Super Nintendo with an HDMI port (so you can plug it into modern TVs). It comes with two controllers, and - the best part - it comes with 20 games built-in. I was think about possibly reselling it on eBay (they are selling at 2 to 3 times their purchase price). But decided against it. I think I overdosed on nostalgia when I played Donkey Kong Country and F Zero. This is a great little console. It's $80 if you find it from an actual store - would recommend!
I like this place - it gives me a good studying vibe. It definitely has some drawbacks, though - it closes way too early. And some people take up the big desks just to sit and play on an iPad. But that's not the Library's fault.
This was taken the first week of school for Vincent. We love seeing that smiling face at drop off time because these kids are so young and this is so brave of them to be going off alone all day without their mom or dad (or gomar or papa). We love you Vincent.