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Everything posted by tomgwyther

  1. Depends what you want to do with it. I use computers on stage a lot. for a static installations I have a custom built tower PC, on site all the time. When I'm working on the road, i try to keep everything as light-weight and simple as possible, and so use a lap-top computer. As ndx mentioned; it can still run without power (for a while) i.e. i can set up the rig, off-stage, then un-plug it, wheel it all on-stage and plug it in again. I did once use a huge tower pc with keyboard, mouse and CRT monitor, for touring work. setting that lot up on-stage with a 15 min act turn-around was a freekin nightmare! If it were me, I'd build a custom flight-case - on wheels - with all the internal wiring pre-rigged. e.g. A wheeled flight case in which I have my computer, microphones, mixer, EQ and amplifiers ready to go right out of the box. You just wheel it on-stage, plug your speakers in (Or have a stereo DI XLR box for the venues sound engineer) and then "rock the joint!" Three things I've leant from 20 years of touring; keep it simple, put it in a flight-case, have wheels!
  2. IMO: Science deals with how things are; philosophy deals with how things aught to be. or Science shows us how and why an apple falls to the ground; philosophy asks "How many apples make a heap?" or Philosophy asks questions, whilst science attempts to answer them. Science and philosophy aren't inseparable, but I would maintain that they are linked to each other.
  3. I suppose I have a sort of taxation paradox. On the one hand, I believe that certain things should be socialised; available to all... almost sacred. I would include all emergency services, healthcare. Water, education to university level plus free libraries and the court system. On the other hand, I am firmly against many forms of taxation, especially the income tax - more precisely - a direct tax on labour. On occasion, I have sat in a cold house, eating donated cold soup from a can, by candle light, because money I would have spend on heating, lighting and food, has been taken from me by force so as councillors and members of parliament can pay them self's £80k salaries. I want limited taxation and limited government, but free healthcare and education. I sometimes wonder if this position is untenable. I have a few (Many) ideas on how this position could be made tenable, but that would require going drastically off-topic.
  4. I refuse to purchase expensive, branded household cleaning products. I have a gallon of bleach and a gallon of dish soap under the sink and that's all I really need. For general purpose kitchen cleaning, I have taken an old squirty bottle/trigger spray bottle in filled it with the green liquid dish soup, some bleach and than topped it of with water. The resulting mixture is green as one would expect due to the addition of gren coloured detergent. On inspecting the mixture after a few days, I've found that it has become completely clear; like water. No green at all. Even if I add more green liquid detergent, it still goes clear after a while. I know that bleach tends to 'bleach out' colours, but I'd be interested to know exactly what's happening at a molecular level. it's a question which has puzzled me for years. Any insight into this phenomenan you can offer would be greatly appreciated. The green liquid dish soup contains: 5% - 15% Anionic surfactant 5% Non-ionic surfactant, Amphoteric Surfactant Also contains: Formaldehyde, dimethylol, Glycol, Sodium Benzoate, Perfume(?), Butylphenyl Methylpropional, linalool, Hexyl Cinnamal, Limonene. The bleach contains: Sodium Hypoclorite (I presume) and both types of surfactant. I doubt there's a nobel prize in understanding why my soap don't stay green But I'd be interested to know what chemical reactions are taking place.
  5. From the UK (For example) to phone someone in Stateline, Tahoe, Nevada I would dial: 001 775 5886211 001 for America 775 is the area code for Stateline and 5886211 is the phone number. If it were a mobile in New York for example, let say their number if dialled from with New York city were 07771 1234567. I would dial 001 7771 1234567
  6. If you have access to a lap-top computer, try using AP tuner. It's very accurate and will allow you to measure frequencies in a lot of detail, including their exact pitch and harmonics Its available here and it's free. I use it to tune piano's etc. AP Tuner
  7. Hmm, I walk around barefoot, outdoors quite often. doesn't really bother me. Walking on sharp gravel can sometimes be problematic, but on concrete, asphalt, it's fine. Moreover, walking barefoot through the forest and wild landscape where I live is a pleasure. I guess you just build up a natural resistance/tolerance for it.
  8. tomgwyther


    Off topic: How does he draw those dotted lines so quickly? he does the first at about one minute in.
  9. AFAIK, Most of the neural development [in humans] occurs before birth, but this development continues afterward for a few year, including the creation of new neurons.
  10. The diaphram is not a smooth muscle, it is skeletal although it is often mistaken for being a smooth muscle. I found this on chantuer.net, amongst many other similar explanations. "The diaphragm has ONLY skeletal muscle, not smooth muscle - none. It will not contract spontaneously as cardiac muscle. It MUST have an impulse delivered to contract. That impulse can originate in the higher brain centers as when we voluntarily inhale and exhale or in the lower brain as when low oxygen levels or high levels of acid or carbon dioxide are present in the cerebrospinal fluid or blood. "
  11. It's definatly a main Junction box, the four holes around it are where other cables connected to it at one time. It's likely quite old as those wire colourings are no longer used. It's most likely still connected to the/a socket ring-main which should have it's own MCB on your distribution board, so as you can turn it off. Best to get a qualified electrician to remove it/make it safe. The other photo is a standard RF connector, the other end is the aerial on the roof. it's passive and thus, not dangerous. p.s. with regard to the mains junction box: don't touch it. p.p.s if you ever need to carry out electrical work, switch the entire distribution board off, i.e cut power to the whole house.
  12. Thanks for the reply, I had tried Ubuntu forums initially, but got no where. I got the problem fixed in the end with a bit of tinkering.
  13. Hi guys, hope you can help. Just installed Ubuntu Studio on (quite an old) Compaq tower. strange thing id, it plays MP3 files a semitone higher in pitch than they should be, this is a particular issue as I'm using the computer in a music teaching environment. never had anything like this happen before,, used ubuntu and ubuntu studio on other systems with no hassle, I've not the faintest idea how to fix this problem. Thanks
  14. Generally speaking, the human brain responds better to simple ratios in sound, this appears to be hard wired, although exactly why, I couldn't tell you. Some examples: the ratio 1:2 is probably the most simple. This ratio gives us the octave (e.g 220Hz : 440Hz. or A to A n a piano) The next most simple is the ratio 3:2, this ratio gives us the Fifth (e.g 220Hz : 330 or A to E on a piano) The next is 4:3 which gives us the Forth (e.g 220Hz : 294Hz or A to D on a piano) Interestingly if we start from 'A' and go up a fifth we get the same note - albeit in a different octave - as if we started at 'A' and went down a forth. These three ratios either played together or separately will sound pleasing to human ears. Even populations and cultures which (until recently) had never met; use these ratios in their music. The drone note in Northern Indian music and the drone note in Gregorian plain chant both use the 3:2 ratio. Nearly every catchy pop song will use the ratios 1:2 - 3:2 - 4:3 otherwise know as the '1, 4, 5' chord progression. Moreover, to get more tonally pleasing results, one can use derivatives of these ratios. i.e. go from 1:1 to 3:2 then 4:3 then take that 4:3 note and use it as the basis to start the process again, assuming 4:3 is now 1:1, you just repeat the process. The song 'everything i do, I do it for you.' by Bryan Adams used this throughout the whole song, bouncing around all over the place in different keys but only arriving at said keys from previous simple ratios. Conversely, complex ratios tend not to sound as nice, for example, the ratio 1024:729 is a far bigger number then the simple ratios discussed earlier, and consequently, the resulting sound isn't as pleasing to the ear. The ratio 1024:729 is more commonly know as a diminished 5th, it is most notably used at the beginning of 'The Simpsons' theme music, giving at a discordant, jarring feel. In short, our brains seem to like nice, simple numbers. When it comes to rhythm, our brains tend toward simple ratios again. most songs can be rhythmically divided by 4, or 3. have a listen to some pop songs and counts the beats in the verse, chorus, bridge etc they almost always divide or multiply by 4. Square numbers seem to be the most natural timing. When a song has say 15 or 17 groups of 4 beats, one gets the inate feeling that it is the wrong length. this is not to say that all music must obey these rues; far from it. A lot of very interesting and innovative music has been produced by breaking or at least tinkering with these rules. I hope this has been of some help to you sir. As to exactly why our brains/we like these square numbers and simple ratios; I can only speculate. Further reading http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhythm http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pythagorean_tuning
  15. I'd recommend the New Forest in southern England. It's a beautiful national park, you could stay in a log cabin in the woods perhaps. lots of nice things to do in the park, many 'ye olde' country pubs etc. It was first established in 1079 and hasn't changed much since. Sandy beaches of Bournemouth are only 30 mins away, or the Jurassic coast only an hour away; a 2 hour bus ride and you're in central London for some sight seeing. Stone Henge is just up the road also. Here's a link to a New Forest tourism video. Enjoy
  16. Speculation: Maybe it makes (Or maybe used to make) the billing easier for electric company. That is if the electricity meter - for some reason - is only capable of measuring amps and you need to know how many watt-hours are being used; a constant-ish 240v reconciles a decimal currency with a 24 hour day quite nicely. I reckon the accountants had something to do with it.
  17. IIRC, one defence mechanism against big cats which look as if they might attack you, is to look them straight in the eye, walk towards them and make a lot of noise. As counter-intuitive as it seems, it's the last thing the animal will expect. The animal will most likely back away. Whereas if you spot the animal and run, every instinct the animal has is to chase you and have you for lunch. I used to test this hypothesis with my own domestic cats. If a toy is pushed toward them, they look at it with a baffled look and usually back of. If I drag a toy away from them, they immediately chase and pounce in it. My childhood cat (Eric) was a keen mouser. He'd often bring in dead mice - or rather bits of them - to the house. However, when a mouse once walked across our living room floor, directly towards Eric, the cat just watched it nervously. The mouse strolled on and my cat just looked up at me as if to say "well, what in the f**k was that all about."
  18. Quite possibly the best. I suppose it depends on whether or not you're a grammar Nazi. Shouldn't the clauses of 'Best idea' and 'Worst' be separated with a semi colon? To go slightly off topic, why do so many English actors put on American accents in Television and film? The same can't really be said of American actors emulation English accents on the screen. e.g. Hugh Laurie as Dr. House in 'House'. Damien Lewis as Sgt Brody in 'Homeland'. Lee Evens played an American in 'Something about Mary'. Miranda Richardson plays Katherine Rhomur in the TV series 'Rubicon' Marina Sirtis as Dinna troi in 'Star trek the next generation'. Gillian Anderson as Scully in the 'X-Files' (Although born in Chicago, she grew up in London with English and Irish parents and a British accent) Eddie Izzard as Wayne Malloy in 'The riches'. Dominic west as Jimmy McNulty in 'The wire'. Ian McShane as Al Swearengen in 'Deawood' (I think i saw him in 'Dallas' too) There are probably more. So what is it about English actors which makes them play American characters better than Americans do?
  19. The 24 hour deadline is up; can we have your proof please?
  20. Just as a side note: In the UK; in my own dealings. As well as giving a corporation the same status as a person, one can also apply to the person, the stautus of corporation. I tend to look on any dealings I as a living individual have, not as being between me and X corporation. But, rather between two legal corporate entities; one of which, I am the sponsor of. In short, as well as exmining corporate personhood, there is also the issue of personal corporatehood. Moreover, the point is somewhat moot as a person and a corporation are effectively the same thing and have been for some years.
  21. I still use nautical terms like 'Three sheets to the wind'. My old 'Gaff' was in 'Pompey' see. I remember when I was a saucepan, bein' three sheets, dane tane, freezin brass monkeys.
  22. Any Sam Adams' beer is pretty vile. First one I ever had in a New York bar said 'lager' on the pump. What was dispensed was actually more of a kegged, hopped, bitter.
  23. When did this happen? Did I miss a meeting? It is effectively the people who establish the common law via individual cases, test cases, class actions and the like. Law is established via consent of the governed. 'Consensus facet legem' The government is only the mode which the people have chosen to execute their will. A well informed, well educated people capable of critical thinking is all that would be needed for democracy to function properly. It worries me that people assume that the power of their "leaders" can usurp the autonomy of the individual. Unless - of course - that the said individual has breached the common law established by society; in which case he would be put before a court of his peers and judged an possibly punished.
  24. I live in the New Forest national park in the South of England, and so benefit from almost zero light pollution. I'll try and get a picture too if conditions are right. Ideal time should be about 19:30 GMT: looking west
  25. I wouldn't usually post the video opinion of another to start a thread, but I feel it does make it clear how myself and many others feel when confronting questions such as "You are rejecting faith." Or "You are rejecting God." The video explains how one persons rejection of another's faith is - at least in part - a rejection of their ego. It describes how disagreeing with a person's faith, or assumptions therein, is not necessarily attacking the individual making the claim. In light of some of the topics discussed recently, I feel it prudent to explain why many members of SFN post as they do.
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