Saturday, February 03, 2007

Evening light

Again a handheld picture, 1600 ISO, F4.0, 1/25second, image-stabilized lens, Canon 5D.

"Industrial Town Ekstetic" part two

M.I.T. for free

Yet another indication that we are "not in Kansas anymore": The Massachusetts Institute of Technology is putting their course materials on the web for free!

"Industrial Town Ekstetic" part one

This is my new "Industrial Town Ekstetic" part one.

The spelling is stolen from Ansel Adams. He took a commercial commision to shoot some photos for a calendar. The CEO from the customer told Adams: "Now don't make them too ekstetic." Gotta love that.

What's Luck Got To Do With It?

Following up on "luck"...
I am sure you know people who are always unlucky. Or seem to be.
I had a colleague once who had a reputation for always winning. And sure enough, she did. At one company party there were four prizes to be won by lottery amongst 400 employees. She won two of them!

I think being unlucky is the condition of your higher mind telling you something.
And being lucky is being in alignment with your higher mind.

I think we each have a human body/mind/beingness which is a tiny tiny part of a huge Higher Mind which goes beyond time and space.
Beyond that is a higher mind for all living things.
And beyond that is God or infinity.

And I think our goal in life is to harmonize all those.

The main barrier to this is that our Human Mind is jealous and proud, and hates to share control and credit with the higher minds. We need to learn to let go of that.

More Jana/Uriel

I have a Slovak/Danish friend named Miro who actually tours with Jana/Uriel (See post from a couple of days ago), and I asked him for news about her.
It seems she is as busy as ever, touring with both her bands, and has been in a movie coming up in spring, a big American/Swiss production.

This is a fun-loving person and group... at some concerts they make a "warm-up band" called Goats of Bohemia (Bohemia is the old word for the Czech Republic). This consists of Jana herself, a dancer, and my friend Miro, all dressed up in jogging suits and goats masks, and making fully improvised music on kitchen utensils! This has been received with enthusiasm by all audiences so far.
I believe it is a mark of genius combined with great skill to be able to just get up and do something improvised and have it be really good.

Miro sent me some pictures, some of which he took himself. There is Jana with a Third Eye which Miro painted. And Jana with a big owl, by the famous Tocnik Castle. And Goats of Bohemia in concert.


In Danish we have an expression which could loosely be translated as: "that's more luck than it's intelligence". I think this is it.
(As usual, click for larger view. Author unknown.)

Friday, February 02, 2007


The Danish band Gasolin' is not well known outside Scandinavia, but there they were huge in seventies until the broke up. Many have tried to convince them to reform, but nobody has succeeded. Their old recordings keep finding new audiences amongst new generations.

Here is their Good Time Charlie.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Employee or employer?

Thanks to TTL for putting up a couple of interesting links. For instance, Steve Pavlina writes about why you should never ever have a job. Basically he says that being employed makes you a slave or a pet, while being self-imployed or a business owner makes you free. Perhaps I am an odd person to argue against that, for am doing very well on my own and I love it. But I am lucky. I know many business owners who work longer hours and earn less than the people they employ. And they have more ulcers as well.
Especially if you work for a small company where the boss is somebody you can talk to, there is something to be said for being employed. Maybe your real interest is rock collecting, and who can earn money on that? Maybe you enjoy your job and your colleagues, and go do your stuff on your own time. I certainly don't regret a minute of the time I spent as an employee, I had fun and I learned a lot.

Basically freedom has very little to do with your physical circumstances. Freedom is in the mind. A millionaire can be a free man or be trapped by his mind, and the same is true for a bum.

There is more I agree with in Steve's articles about a new business, and 10 lessons for entrepreneurs.

Update: He is right, though, about security: I had three jobs which I loved, and all three ended when the employer could no longer afford to keep me.
And now I've been self-employed for ten years (in March), and there has not been one lean month. (Obviously this is a bit exceptional, I'm just presenting the opposite side to the coin here.)

Black Cat

Another of those semi-abstract pictures I love. Copyright by Pankaj Sharma. I got it here.

Jana Pope, a.k.a. Uriel

One of the most seminal and powerful artists you are like to hear about, or more likely not, is Jana Pope, a.k.a. Uriel, a.k.a. JANA KRATOCHVÍLOVÁ. She really should be big world wide, but she is best known in her home land the Czech Republic, where friends helped me dig out new material from her after I started a search for this artist who I became a big fan of back in the eighties, and who is still the only musician I've sent a fan letter to. (Small fib there, I sent one to Iggy Pop too, but he invited it on one of his records.)

Here is one of her most melodious songs: Santa Maria.

And here is one of her most brilliant hard rock songs: Time 4 Revolution. This is from her separate band, the ultra hard-core Illuminati. If you like industrial hard rock, this is the uncut stuff.

Earlier I posted two interviews with Uriel, here and here.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Katherine Helmond

I'm a Katherine Helmond fan.
For one thing, in Everybody Loves Raymond where she's in her seventies, she is still a good looking woman, very lively and a wonderful actor.

For another thing, in her big role as Jessica Tate in the groundbreaking seventies sitcom Soap, I see her as the moral and loving epicentre of the show. Jessica Tate may be ditzy and a scatterbrain, but she is the embodiment of an Innocent person.

You saw her occasionally be angry at people who did her wrong, and you saw her make necessary decisions like throwing out her husband Chester after he proved well and good that he just couldn't stop being unfaithful, but you never saw her judge people or hold grudges. It was just not in her. Her heart was bigger than an ocean, and everything and everybody had a place in it.

It would take a lot of work and wrongdoing to even get her to push you away, and even then she never hated you, it was merely self-preservation.

I seem to recall that Katherine was on Danish TV (the series was huge in Scandinavia, where nobody could see anything immoral about it) telling us how Soap had ended prematurely due to big pressure from holier-than-thou groups like The Moral Majority. To Europeans this seemed incredible, the show was so innocent and fun.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Pogue videos

Kool, David Pogue videos are now available at iTunes or YouTube.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Takako Minekawa

To all you fans of my fabulous taste in music, another tidbit, this one in what I have named the "nippop" genre (pop from Nippon): Takako Minekawa's Fancy Work Funk. (Though I don't know why it's called that, I would have named it Photo Safari to fit with the lyrics.) I just love this song and have for many years. It is interesting, for a serious people like the Nipponese, they have some wonderfully silly and funloving artists.

"Awaken in the dream"

Awaken in the dream.

"Evolution of Dance"

I'm always curious about the nature of a hit. Some of them seem bound to happen, others I really couldn't predict. The "Evolution of Dance" video for instance. Sure it's big fun, but I'd really not have imagined it as a number one hit video on the Web.

I was led to this from an article about how YouTube has decided to share revenue with its video creators. I am surprised by this. Sure, the big hit videos has the potential for big income by ads or other things, but it is only a potential. And I thought that YouTube was still a big money drain, due to the huge site-running and bandwidth costs such a site has. I dunno, I suppose if they decide to share the money, they must have some.

"Shadows and Doubts"

Another beautiful song from Ugress is "Shadows and Doubts", which you can get on this page.
For the album "Cinematronics" he has elected to put all the songs on the site, but in lower quality. I think it's a doubtful strategy, since people might think the song sounds like that, you don't usually have the imagination to think of how it might sound in full quality. In any case you can buy the song or the album on iTunes.