Thursday, November 29, 2012

Potent Quotables: The Gutenberg Galaxy Edition

The year is quickly reaching its conclusion, the nights growing longer as the hours of sunlight decline daily. Going through some of the unwritten or uncompleted pieces I had intended to write this year, it occurs to me that a long-planned review of Marshall McLuhan's The Gutenberg Galaxy just isn't going to happen in the way I'd hoped. So I'm going to do something different.

First, some background info:
This incredibly dense and thoughtful text occupied a good portion of my mental energy in the final months of 2011 and into early 2012. Though it sparked many new ideas for me that completely altered my perspective on things, I mostly found it as puzzling and challenging to get through as my first reading of Ulysses. It certainly lacks the pleasing poetic language of Ulysses, but is equally massive in its references and often cuts jarringly from one huge concept to the next. I approached it thinking it'd be like any other analytical academic text but it's something very different.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Album Review: Sophisticated Movement by Kevlaar 7 & Woodenchainz

"My vinyl voice so vintage, hear the *crackling* and the *clicking*"
- Kevlaar 7

With three high-quality releases in less than two years, Kevlaar 7 is arguably the most consistent purveyor of pure hip hop right now. This latest offering, Sophisticated Movement, is a 15-track collaboration with burgeoning beatcrafter Woodenchainz, an album bursting at the seams with soulfulness as the sounds of decrepit Detroit's underground hip hop/blues heart continues to pour out from the Wisemen camp.

Monday, November 19, 2012

The Importance of the O

Written by Wu-Tang's Gza/Genius, performed by Jim Jarmusch. (Not sure who produced it, though I believe it's Preservation). 

Here's a recent New York Times piece on The Gza/Genius and his new enterprise to teach science in public school through the use of hip hop rhymes. Wu-Tang is for the babies, in case you didn't know.

From the article:
Growing up in the Park Hill Houses on Staten Island, he was curious about the physical world but bored with school. Hip-hop became his outlet for showing off intellectually.

“It was always about crafting the best rhyme in the most articulate, witty or smart way,” he said. "For us, it was always about educating the listener."

It took him more than two decades to develop his curiosity about science into “Dark Matter,” an album now in the writing stage, which he hopes will bring his fans to astrophysics, starting with the Big Bang.

Ten Best Science Books of 2012

Trying to get back into the groove after an extended period away from doing any serious writing. My journey deep into the heart of Finnegans Wake has consumed me (increasingly so) for almost six months now. With just one chapter left until I've completed my first full go-round with the book, I'll soon have lots to say about it all. In the meantime, forgive my absence and enjoy perusing this wonderfully illustrated list of the ten best science books of the year via the essential Brain Pickings blog.

And here's a stunning cosmic photograph that appeared recently at the Astronomy Picture of the Day webpage.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

The Known Universe

Pretty sure I've posted this before in the past, but certainly well worth a re-posting. It's a video showing the entirety of the universe as we comprehend it, set to the music of composer Hans Zimmer (actually, a funky remix of Zimmer).