Sunday, November 30, 2008

My Nefarious Plans (for my children)

Moms come in all shapes and sizes. No two moms will react to her children dying the cat pink or receiving a whopping $400 cell phone bill in quite the same way. Our shrieks of horror are as individual as a fingerprint. We contort differently when simultaneously voicing our displeasure and suppressing laughter. All moms have one thing in common, though we may not realize it; we all have plans for our little darlings’ futures. We may not have flowcharted Johnny’s trip to the White House by way of Harvard or predetermined the length of Janie’s first courtship with the slacker kid from down the block but we all entertain quaint fantasies of our children finding success, love, personal fulfillment and their own homes by the time they’re 30.

I’m probably sneakier than most moms when it comes to leading my brood to their professional and personal destinies. Conor, for instance, doesn’t realize that he will embark on a career in Hollywood that will rival the great Steven Spielberg’s. (I’d say Martin Scorcese, but those are mighty big eyebrows to fill.) All that daydreaming the boy does in school must be useful for something. So…I stealthily sneak in HD video cameras with his Lego-heavy birthday presents and then I slip in ingenious videos gleaned from You Tube wherever I think he might be watching. Places like…my blog.

(Shhhh. Conor doesn’t know he’s being molded. But before we launch into a full on explication of the symbolism in Citizen Kane, let’s start with something simple. One guy, one camera and one clever idea.) Meet Dan and Dan.

Now, on to Hana's doctorate in particle physics.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Time Is On My Side

First off, apologies for not being a punctual blogger. An upper respiratory infection and the end of the semester have conspired to make me look quite flakey. Fear not, the end (of the semester) is near.

Secondly, I want to you all meet my new love, Dr. George Smoot

(He's not as iconoclastic as Feynman, or as articulate as Sagan, or as adamant as Hawking, but the man gives great Universe. And he brought pictures!)

If you have a few minutes, well, more like twenty take a look at the beginning of time and space.

We are in the presence of all time, all the time. Cool.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Sounds Like Fun

You know I just have to share if I find a new, fun and interesting way to waste more time on the Internet. Blogs are cool. Forums are da bomb. But foley editing is just a plain old kick in the pants. Actually I’m getting credit for this little time waster since it’s part of my Multimedia class and I need to become familiar with the Audacity program.

First, go here and download the free audio editing program from Audacity.

Then, go here and sign up so you can download every kind of noise imaginable at

Then play and play and play. Frighten your kids. Scare the neighbors. Terrorize your pets. This is a blast.

Listen to what I came up with this afternoon.

Note for those that operate on a higher plane of geekiness: The Audacity program saves your projects using an .aup extension. These files are only operable on computers that have Audacity software loaded, plus they're gargantuan, gigantic, really big files. You might want to export your projects to a .wav or .mp3 file. Since I run on a Mac, I needed a, what's the word for it...doohickey to convert .aup files to .mp3 files. If you, like me, have been living without this all important doohickey, you might want to go here and download their free converter. It's fairly cool and you can convert to a dozen different audio formats. I know I'm feeling better about the world, I hope you are too.

The only downside that I can see, besides ignoring the pile of dirty dishes in the sink, is the sheer size of some of these audio files. I probably ate up the better part of 2G downloading audio files to play with. But oh well, put it down to the costs of higher education.

11/3/08 I fixed the links. I shall now go beat myself without mercy for posting dead links. Carry on. cmk