November 27, 2005

Yeast After Me

For some reason, a couple of lovely artists decided I could taint their show, Repeat After Me, with an attempt at Art (more likely, art). Being in love with the science of complexity, the topic of self-replication has come up more than a few times. Fortunately, my original, colder, less fun idea wouldn't come to fruition in time for the show, so I've been forced towards a more seasonally appropriate goal: the creation, recording, and imbibing of beer.

What better way to say "self-replicate" than helping billions of fungal organisms live and die, drinking their waste in celebration? This is a sound art project whose name is still undecided (though my collaborator Søren and I have a few good ideas). We've field recorded the brew cycle and will be conjuring the sound pieces into an audible reflection of the process. We've got one month to do it. Yikes!

Tonight was the first I've played with the samples. If you are bored and I mean really bored (it's really boring), you can listen to the first exbeeriment. It's here solely as something to look back at when we finish the final piece. Our work (including the crap linked previously) is licensed under the Creative Commons Sample Plus license.

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October 24, 2005

End of October; Clockwork Beast.

for three (recorded) years, my brain goes twist around this time. it's some sort of heralding of colder months, introspective moods, and the production of inspirational fuel for my next winter compilation.

i'm constantly amazed by how our minds have both random, inexplicable, bursts and precise, inexplicable, cycles. wack stuff, it keeps it interesting. a nice combination of grounded regularity and general unknowingness.

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July 23, 2005

Manhattan: First two photos.

Living in the East Village (NY, NY) for the summer. Keeping a loose journal on the wiki. Email me if you want a link to it. It's not super private, but it's not so much meant for other people, i.e. it may be boring. :)

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February 11, 2005

CodeCon 2005

The next three days is CodeCon. This year I'm officially on staff handling the CodeCon Live Audio streams. You can view the schedule to see what topic is at hand.

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January 25, 2005

Buckwheat Maki?

There is no respect for the sushi roll. While trying to whip up something quick and macrobiotic inspired I refound the buckwheat grains (why have i not touched these all winter!!). They were toasted and cooked into fluffy comfort (steam smelling feeling like a large easy chair in a mahogany study).

Into the grain went carrot and avocado and I made a sauce by mixing tahini and the world's best shoyu (Osawa® Nama Shoyu). A leafy something or other was in need, but the avo, carrot and shoyu were screaming "Maki! Maki!" Could I?

The nori came out, the contents of the pot was mixed and thrown down off-center seaweed. Add a bit of umeboshi paste and sprinkle gomasio, roll, seal -- hot damn, it's good! A side of oshitashi would make this complete.

Looking for suggestions on a ginger drink. I'm making a strong ginger juice using a soy milk maker, but i'm at a loss for spices to add. Ginger juice and sweetener are good, but I know this can be made really good.

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August 30, 2004

RNC Quick Update

Before I write up my personal experience of yesterday's Bike Bloc, here are links to good information about the last couple of days.

For up to the minute news, visit NYC Indymedia. If you really want to be on the up and up, register your phone with Text Mob and join the "comms_dispatch" group to receive text messages used by protesters to determine routes and actions.

A fantastic piece about Friday's critical mass was on Monday's Democracy Now!. Includes bike mounted camera footage of the ride, the producer being arrested, and the police swinging batons at a crowd chanting for the release of a bicyclist. Democracy Now! is covering the actions and protests surrounding the Republican National Convention with video footage, photos and interviews.

Some recent articles:

One of the funnier actions occuring tomorrow: Defend Johnny Cash - Man-In-Black Bloc.

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August 28, 2004

BNC Critical Mass

Last night critical mass rode as what is likely the largest mass of riders in its world history. The low estimate by police and media is between 5000 and 6000 riders while the reasonable high estimate is as many as 10,000. The Bike National Convention, spearheaded by bike activist group Times-Up, was a major force behind the swell of riders in last night's tour of the city.

Critical Mass rides through Times Square

Critical Mass events have been occuring on the last friday of the month in NYC for over 8 years. For the first time, police declared riders were violating the law, creating unsafe traffic conditions and would be arrested if the mass proceeded as usual. A flier of fear was distributed by police to riders meeting in Union Square. In the past, NYPD fear tactics have successfully reduced the size of Times-Up organized bike events. However, last night's deep failure to reduce the size of the ride may have served to frustrate the police force, leading them to unnecessarily arrest over 250 bicyclists.

For over a month, a large after party was being organized for the end of last night's ride. A space was secured as was valet bike parking. The purpose was to end the ride in celebration and provide the space and resources to accomodate an expected large group of riders. However, over the last week police and coast guard were regularly visiting the chosen establishment's owners in an attempt to scare them from hosting the planned celebration. Two days before the ride, their tactics were successful and the owner pulled out.

By successfully removing the critical mass after-party, the New York Police Department effectively created the scenario of thousands of riders pouring through the streets with no final destination. Quickly, Times-Up secured a much smaller space, St Marks church. The venue became less of an afterparty and more of an attempt by the NYPD to cover their failings.

The ride stopped in front of St. Marks but the large mass of people was only able to slowly move inside the grounds. Street watchers filled sidewalks further impeding the the bicyclists street exit. Boxed in, the NYPD swept into the street riot style and arrested anyone present (whether they were trying to leave or not).

As noted by Times-Up organizers, this loss of after-venue and it's effective result in arrest and chaos is a possible first sign of what will happen with RNC protest marches in the face of non-granted Central Park permits.

[Update: 8:30pm Eastern | A reasonable NY Times article.]

My friend Brandon will also be keeping a blog during the RNC, check out Learning to Roar.

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August 23, 2004


Before my window. Breeze coming through, blowing across the stripped bed. Birds are chirpping, a harmonica is played, the gospel church sings, and the clocktower slowly bongs 12pm.

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August 20, 2004

Shell variable interpolation

Alright, this is fairly geeky, but I'd like to know if there is a better way of doing this.

Something I love about perl is how many places it lets you interpolate. Being used to this flexibility, I wanted to do something similar in a shell script (in particular, my .bash_profile). This is my first stab at it:

To interpolate shell variables into a new variable:

abc=`eval echo \\$$a$b$c`

As a side, BASH allows you to do single variable interpolation by: ${!var} .

Please let me know if there is a better way!

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July 07, 2004

Qingdao treats

For sensory experience, last night in Qingdao was pretty golden. A swift jaunt was made to the local Carre 4 -- a French company bringing China their version of Walmart. I bought some nice looking green and oolong teas sold in bulk and pitched in to get a cake for Lancelot (it was his birthday). Lancelot is not his real name, but many of the chinese students have created english names (loosely based on their true names) in order to help the westerners stop butchering their language. Similarly, I had someone translate my name into chinese characters so it could be pronounced more easily.

jeremy pronounced in chinese characters

Into the streets we went. The groups fractured and I found myself wandering Qingdao city with Lancelot from Beijing and Allan from Boston. First mission was to find out why there were tapped kegs of beer on so many sidewalks. Two yuan were handed over to someone sitting by a keg and a weighed kilogram of beer in a plastic shopping bag was handed over; along with a wrapped juice straw. A gross distortion of drinking capri-sun back in the day.

beer weighing allan and lancelot with bags of beer

jeremy drink bag of beer

Drinking and talking, cultures colliding, we found ourselves next to an array of kebab stands selling various creatures cooked on sticks. Allan eyed the box of wiggling, larvae-like things. Some translations were made by Lancelot and we found they were silk worms. They were very strange to watch. One end of their body was spiraling round and round. Allan decided a new food discovery could not be passed up. 5 for 2 yuan. Onto a wooden stick they silk worms went. A yellow fluid oozed from them. I cringed. A sauce of hot spices was applied with a brush, and onto the grill they went. I ordered squid on a stick, a Qingdao specialty.

workin the kebab shop

live silkworms waiting for their skewer

Allan made little hesitation to try his new found food. He popped a cooked silkworm into his mouth and chewed heartily. "This is fairly disgusting". He spat the remains into the bushes nearby. I offered some of my squid, which was great. After his bite of squid he said, "you should try the silkworm." Though his experience offered humor, it did little to entice. "Oh come on," he persisted, "you can have silkworm with a squid chaser." I sighed.

silkworm and squid on a stick

Much hesitation ensued, but I found myself waving a stick of silkworms in front of me until finally, i was chomping down on one. Cooked, leathery flesh compressed between my teeth. The flavor of spice mingled with the fresh silkworm insides squeezed out like toothpaste from a tube. I chewed. It wasn't as bad as I was expecting. It wasn't so good, but it wasn't terrible. It reminded me of scallop you've been chewing on too long.

jeremy eating the silkworm

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June 04, 2004

Mango & Mint, part iii

Three infusions were made.

  1. Into vodka was placed mango and mint.
  2. Into vodka was placed mango, mint and cucumber.
  3. Into gin was placed mango and a bit of cucumber.

They all have their pros and cons, though the gin infusion is possibly too strange to be practical.

Tonight's cocktail is simple and enlightening: a Rickey made with mango, mint and cucumber infused vodka. It's very nice and heading towards a finale. The next drink should have a small amount of simple syrup (1/2 teaspoon) to enhance the mango flavor, slices of mango and cucumber, and mint sprigs for garnish.

It was surprising how much the lime juice really brought the drink together. Whereas the lime seemed to force out the mango in the Mojango, in this drink it helps settle it in. We'll see what happens when the simple syrup and garnish come into play.

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May 23, 2004

Mango & Mint, part ii

So we have not so bad, and we have bad. Tonight we had a bit of both and none of the definitely good. I sip upon a mango, chartreuse, vodka cocktail. Of note, color matters: green and yellow are not fine bedfellows, and my browinsh, baby shit colored cocktail tastes intriguing and looks repulsive.

When the juicer was whipped out, I knew bad things were in store. But desire for experimentation outweighed theories of chemical concentrations. Mint was juiced into a substance similar to wheat grass. It was a combination of minty and chlorophyll. Mango was juiced into a sludge reminiscent of "juiced" banana. The mixture was colorfully offensive and the flavor a sad attempt at being creative.

The Mojango was closer to something worth building. New theory: the mango is such a specific flavor, it would be best infused into a clean alcohol like vodka and honored in a subtle way. This means I need to look into the Chartreuse and vodka drinks, because I'd really like to find the combination of Chartreuese and mango to swoon my favorite bartender. I'm wary of a mango gin because of the strong personalities, but some experimentation will lend insight.

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May 21, 2004


Nothing is so bad as that which is not so bad.
-- The Scarlet Pimpernel

Tonight was the first experiment towards a mango & mint cocktail. With only enough light rum for a single drink, the Mojito was chosen as the basis to build upon: fresh mango was muddled with mint, lime, and simple syrup. The lime made me uneasy, but since I'm still feeling very lost and new at the art of cocktail creation, I am in a serious data collection role. Learning what flavors mismatch is as interesting as learning which flavors match.

The Mojango was a failure as a "mango & mint cocktail". Although, not so bad, it literally tasted like someone had thrown some mango into a Mojito: there was little sense of a marriage between the mango and the rest of the flavors. The current theory is the problem lies with the lime. The lime brings together the Mojito so well, I'm not sure there is room for the mango. Hence, experiment #2: Mango Rum Smash.

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May 18, 2004

Ghetto #1

What happens when you run out of ice and your guests are asking for more alcohol? You aim for whatever you got refridgerated. In this case, there was a bottle of sweetened cranberry juice in the fridge.

These are rough estimates of what probably happened.

In mixing glass, no ice:

  • 1-2 part gin
  • 1 part freshly squeeze grapefruit
  • 2-3 part sweetened cranberry juice (cold)
  • Stir well.

Pour above into cocktail glass:

  • Add 1/2 - 1 oz tonic water.
  • Stir briefly.
  • Add lemon twist.
  • Serve with apology.

While I was building this, I had an idea for a mango-mint drink. Something on the order of a mango mojito, the mojango. Experiment to come.

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April 01, 2004

evening sykes

small, texturous, evening image of river, rocks, trees leading to Sykes hot springs

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March 06, 2004

the sound of azuki beans

refamiliarizing myself with the self-healing cookbook, i decided to cook up some azuki beans. one half-hour into their simmer they should be cold shocked.

listening to the beans boil against the pot, i was enjoying the rhythm in which they scraped against the metal vessel. as if the bubbles rattling the beans were coming from a bellows. the sound of submerged, scraping beans was padded with the quiet rumble of escaping vapor.

the balance changed over time (as the beans soften, the high-tones degrade). slowly, the highs muted away until finally, the sound of bean scraping metal was gone. then i looked at the time and saw it was the half-hour point. which made me wonder if this was how the half-hour point was chosen.

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March 04, 2004

Ode to Glenna

pick pick
poke poke
what's that?
oops, it's bleeding.
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March 02, 2004

Rx Gallery: Jiffy-Scuttler Two

Rx Gallery: Jiffy-Scuttler 2

Blithe Sons

My favorite artist, Loren Chasse (front), playing with Glenn Donaldson as The Blithe Sons; absolutely sublime.

Danielle DeGruttola on cello

Danielle DeGruttola ripping on her electric cello. Gliding through subtle, experimental sound, classical composition and metal enthused noise.

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February 01, 2004

Rx Gallery: Jiffy-Scuttler One

rx gallery projection and consoles
playing ms. pacman
glowing computer on pedestal   flanged, a couple about to shake hands, video projection in pieces behind
rx gallery bar and projection and people

What follows is a failed, forced attempt at descriptive writing:

Continue reading "Rx Gallery: Jiffy-Scuttler One"
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January 24, 2004

Saturday Morning Grey Sky, San Francisco

quiet breakfast in san francisco

(For amusement, Google for "grey gray spelling")

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January 20, 2004


The dance basically means to do simple weird movements with your feet, hips and body (kinda like speaking in tongues, in dancing). It makes sense only to the dancer who is doing it at the moment. A good example is James Brown.

-- Sonny Watson's Dance History

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January 06, 2004

Revelation of Possibility

ah. well, it reminds me of when i get that rush in my chest, as if a giant wave of water and oxygen and possibility were moving through me, connecting me to the past, the future, and other beings.

-- Sasha

What some of us tech steeped peoples go through from time to time when we think about the possibilities of social technology. A great revelation of the possibility of things. Naively, i feel it is akin to something like satori.

I want to believe this feeling is related to the process of cellularization and interconnection we see in the natural world. That there is a similarity between why we find the view from a mountain top so beautiful and the idea of beings becoming increasingly interconnected so exhilirating. I like to believe it is a deep recognition of an underlying, universal structure.

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December 30, 2003

Germane to recent life philosophies.

Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.

-- Robert F. Kennedy

It's more rewarding biking through a crowded street rather sitting in a padded cyclo. Though both are surely interesting.

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December 26, 2003

Putting People in Possession of Knowledge

It is one thing to show a man that he is in error, and another to put him in possession of truth.

-- John Locke

This quote reminds me how knowledge is passed around in geek communities. It is not enough to explain that someone is wrong, we tend to require backup (references) of our claims and sometimes will forgo even the mention of why someone is wrong and just yellout "RTFM!".

It appears this line of reasoning is also becoming a staple in grassroot organizations. It is the mantra of truthout (where the quote was found), can be seen as the footnotes in the Daily Misleader, and was one of the operating principles in the Matt Gonzalez mayorial campaign's attempt to educate the voters (instead of muckrake the opponent).

Perhaps a product of an online world where providing reference links is part of our writing system and a response to the FUD we find ourselves constantly bombarded by.

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December 22, 2003

Dancing Sand Grains, Ringing Earth

For an earthquake this size, every single sand grain on the planet dances to the music of those seismic waves. You may not be able to feel them, but the entire planet is rung like a bell.

-- Ross Stein, Calif. Earthquake Rang Planet 'Like a Bell'

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