Archive for December, 2010

Janelle Monae: an impressive talent

Posted in art, music, pop culture, Uncategorized on December 28, 2010 by Trip Jennings

O.K., I don’t usually do the music critic thing. But Janelle Monae, an artist I’d never heard of from Atlanta, blew me away this week. Her 2010 release, ArchAndroid, is pretty ambitious. Monae mixes styles, layers sounds upon sounds and alternately croons and screams, rock style, to keep a listener guessing as how to rightly categorize her. On one song she’s doing the 80s dance thing. On the next she’s all into psychedelic rock. On still another she’s doing an imitation of the Fleet Foxes. There’s even a science fiction/cinema angle sorta involved. Fritz Lang’s classic movie Metropolis inspired ArchAndroid. Like an NPR reviewer wrote, she’s part musical genius, part mad scientist. Here are a few of her songs: COLD WAR 57821 ALIVE MUSHROOMS AND ROSES WONDALAND


How the world changed in 10 years

Posted in Uncategorized on December 28, 2010 by Trip Jennings

This is an outstanding post. It’s easy to forget how much tech innovation has happened in just 10 years.   I mean PDAs? Who remembers those? And America OnLine? Isn’t that some company that was big way back when the Internet revolution was just starting? And Napster? What the heck was that again? The year 2000 gave us Y2K, America Online, Napster and all these acronyms we barely remember. But hey, I’m sure in 2020 we’ll look back at 2010 and laugh, right?! a bonus here’s the song NPR uses to close out the story, Gut Feeling,one of my favorite Devo songs of all time.

Posted in Uncategorized on December 25, 2010 by Trip Jennings

Merry Christmas everyone!!!

Sandia creates world’s smallest nanowire battery

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on December 22, 2010 by Trip Jennings
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A team led by Sandia National Laboratories‘ researcher Jianyu Huang has succeeded in creating the world’s smallest battery at a research facility belonging to the Department of Energy. The battery is in fact so small that it was formed inside a transmission electron microscope and consists of a single nanowire (as the battery’s anode) which is one seven-thousandth the thickness of a human hair!



Serious food for thought from: The Dangers Of Externalizing Knowledge

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on December 20, 2010 by Trip Jennings

An excerpt from this interesting, thought-provoking piece from TechCrunch.

It’s become far easier to acquire expertise — at the cost of insight. There’s a reason, after all, why it’s called insight. Because insight is the result of recombination, hybridizing ideas, internal accidents, emergent properties of ideas we never even knew were related.

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Contemplating the shortcomings of the younger generation has ever been a hobby of the elder. As I start to transition to the latter population (perhaps a bit early for my age), I’ve found myself worrying more and more about the kids, and how little they seem to appreciate things. That kind of complaint is neither constructive or original. But the fact is that the kids are growing up pretty weird these days, because of the way technology has outpaced our institutions of learning and standards of knowledge.
The short attention span and reliance on non-text media are to be expected in an age where attention is indulged by on-demand information, and the effects of these things will continue to be written about, rightly and wrongly. There is a more subtle and insidious trend, however,

It’s a process that has been going on for a long time, but that recent developments may push to the breaking point. The problem, as I see it, is that we have stopped valuing the accumulation of information within ourselves.

Because of this reliance, do people know their cities, roads, and neighborhoods better? Not as well? Or simply in a different way? After all, services like Foursquare and Urban Spoon encourage serendipitous discovery of restaurants and locations. I think it is a strange paradox, that these technologies expose us to new things while at the same time clapping blinders on us.

To return to the thesis, however: general knowledge seems to be following the path of locational knowledge, and the consequences are similar, but more dire. While consulting the GPS means you don’t build an internal map of your neighborhood, consulting the external knowledge engine of the internet means you don’t build a map of your entire intellectual world.


R.I.P. Captain Beefheart

Posted in art, music, pop culture, Uncategorized with tags , on December 19, 2010 by Trip Jennings

RIP Donald Glen Vliet (Captain Beefheart). I know I’m a day late, but better later than never, right?! The dude charted his own course. He made some nifty music. Thanks to Jen Grover for posting this video. Enjoy.

Words matter; words can change the world

Posted in literature, news, philosophy, religion with tags , , , , , on December 16, 2010 by Trip Jennings

I just read to a class of fifth graders. My choice of reading materials: St. Crispen Day’s speech from Henry V, an excerpt of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s I Have a Dream exhortation of 1963 and part of Winston Churchill’s Never Surrender radio address from 1940. The message of my talk. Words matter. Words can help change the world. MLK’s I Have a Dream speech Olivier’s performance of St. Crispen’s speech’s radio address