Interesting Things to Fill Your Beautiful Skull.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

1,000 True Fans

Kevin Kelly is a tech-thinking guy who founded Wired Magazine and has done lots of writing about technology over the years. One of his thoughts that I just came upon has to do with the distribution of work by artists. He thinks it is possible for artists to have just 1,000 True Fans to make a living. What's a 'True Fan'?

A True Fan is defined as someone who will purchase anything and everything you produce. They will drive 200 miles to see you sing. They will buy the super deluxe re-issued hi-res box set of your stuff even though they have the low-res version. They have a Google Alert set for your name. They bookmark the eBay page where your out-of-print editions show up. They come to your openings. They have you sign their copies. They buy the t-shirt, and the mug, and the hat. They can't wait till you issue your next work. They are true fans.

He goes on to say that much of this requires a lot of direct fan contact management, which requires taking advantage of lots of the new technologies for keeping people updated with your biz, like Twitter and Facebook. Keep them engaged, let them know what you're doing, and keep them hungry.

It's an interesting read, with lots of interesting comments to the post. Give it a look here.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

my first dictionary

this blog is fantastically awful...
The Gashlycrumb tinies is the only thing with which i can compare it.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Friendship leads to longer life

I saw this article in the NY Times about how the benefits of friendship are largely unstudied, especially compared to family relationships. I have been very lucky to have some great friends in this lot in life, and those relationships have for sure been great for my own well-being. I particularly enjoyed this quote from the article:

Last year, researchers studied 34 students at the University of Virginia, taking them to the base of a steep hill and fitting them with a weighted backpack. They were then asked to estimate the steepness of the hill. Some participants stood next to friends during the exercise, while others were alone.

The students who stood with friends gave lower estimates of the steepness of the hill. And the longer the friends had known each other, the less steep the hill appeared.

Link to article.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

John Jordan "Buck" O'Neil

"Buck" O'Neil was named the first black coach in the major leagues by the Cubs in 1962. He was an incredible baseball player in the organization of Negro League Baseball. Last year, Ed told me about a site called American Rhetoric. I've had his speech on my computer for awhile, and I love listening to it. Everything I read about the guy is inspiring. He gave so much back to baseball, blacks, and communities he worked in. Truly inspiring human being.

Here is the link to his American Rhetoric site with the speech I love:

"Buck" O'Neil

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


A young Little Richard rocking all the "hip" white kids. I appreciated the choreographed steps of the band. He was punk rock before punk rock knew it was punk rock.

Monday, April 20, 2009


Word of the day for me: Agglomeration. An agglomeration is basically the word we use when we talk about a 'metro area'.

I thought this was an interesting list of the largest urban agglomerations in the world. It's amazing so many people can live together.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

A day in the life of a middle class republican

This came out several years ago, but in this day where we are having "Tea Party" tax protests around the country, I saw it and thought it was worth thinking about again.


Joe gets up at 6:00am to prepare his morning coffee. He fills his pot full of good clean drinking water because some liberal fought for minimum water quality standards. He takes his daily medication with his first swallow of coffee. His medications are safe to take because some liberal fought to insure their safety and work as advertised.

All but $10.00 of his medications are paid for by his employers medical plan because some liberal union workers fought their employers for paid medical insurance, now Joe gets it too. He prepares his morning breakfast, bacon and eggs this day. Joe’s bacon is safe to eat because some liberal fought for laws to regulate the meat packing industry.

Joe takes his morning shower reaching for his shampoo; His bottle is properly labeled with every ingredient and the amount of its contents because some liberal fought for his right to know what he was putting on his body and how much it contained. Joe dresses, walks outside and takes a deep breath. The air he breathes is clean because some tree hugging liberal fought for laws to stop industries from polluting our air. He walks to the subway station for his government subsidized ride to work; it saves him considerable money in parking and transportation fees. You see, some liberal fought for affordable public transportation, which gives everyone the opportunity to be a contributor.

Joe begins his work day; he has a good job with excellent pay, medicals benefits, retirement, paid holidays and vacation because some liberal union members fought and died for these working standards. Joe’s employer pays these standards because Joe’s employer doesn’t want his employees to call the union. If Joe is hurt on the job or becomes unemployed he’ll get a worker compensation or unemployment check because some liberal didn’t think he should loose his home because of his temporary misfortune.

Its noon time, Joe needs to make a Bank Deposit so he can pay some bills. Joe’s deposit is federally insured by the FSLIC because some liberal wanted to protect Joe’s money from unscrupulous bankers who ruined the banking system before the depression.

Joe has to pay his Fannie Mae underwritten Mortgage and his below market federal student loan because some stupid liberal decided that Joe and the government would be better off if he was educated and earned more money over his life-time.

Joe is home from work, he plans to visit his father this evening at his farm home in the country. He gets in his car for the drive to dads; his car is among the safest in the world because some liberal fought for car safety standards. He arrives at his boyhood home. He was the third generation to live in the house financed by Farmers Home Administration because bankers didn’t want to make rural loans. The house didn’t have electric until some big government liberal stuck his nose where it didn’t belong and demanded rural electrification. (Those rural Republican’s would still be sitting in the dark)

He is happy to see his dad who is now retired. His dad lives on Social Security and his union pension because some liberal made sure he could take care of himself so Joe wouldn’t have to. After his visit with dad he gets back in his car for the ride home.
He turns on a radio talk show, the host’s keeps saying that liberals are bad and conservatives are good. (He doesn’t tell Joe that his beloved Republicans have fought against every protection and benefit Joe enjoys throughout his day) Joe agrees, “We don’t need those big government liberals ruining our lives; after all, I’m a self made man who believes everyone should take care of themselves, just like I have”.

By John Gray of Cincinnati, Ohio, July 2004

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Heavy Metal

My mom had a mouth full of amalgam. She has/had so many bizarre health problems. She wound up going to a dentist who believed in natural healing and recommended that the metal come out of her mouth - that it might be poisoning her. She had all the metal removed and her health improved dramatically.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Do you wonder how this is all going to turn out?

Do you want to to reconsider, next year - but with the perspective of today, how this current crisis, illness, relationship, move, concert, whatever will affect you? is a website where you can write a letter to your *future* self now, and have it show up in your email box next week, next year, 3 years from now....

Monday, April 13, 2009

The Voca People

All vocal work

Sunday, April 12, 2009

MBT Shoes

A friend of mine called me today and toldme about these new shoes. They're called MBT (Masai Barefoot Technology) Shoes. The concept is pretty interesting.

Hemp Oil

Here's a video about the potential healing effects of hemp oil.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Happy Passover !

"Et la fin du repas indique qu'il a bouclé la boucle, qu'il a fermé le
cercle dans l'espace." A. Artaud, Héliogabale.

i.e. : "And the end of the meal indicates that he looped the loop,
that he closed the circle in space. " A. Artaud, Héliogabalus.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Los Pikadientes De Caborca

So there are these guys in a Mexican band that recorded a song on their home laptop and handed it out to their friends via memory stick and bluetooth as a cellphone ringtone. Their friends passed it around so much that the song became popular and eventually was played on local radio stations across Sonora, Mexico and people uploaded videos of themselves dancing to the tune on YouTube. One thing led to another and they got a record deal from Colombia.

Click here for the video.

Apparently passing songs by cellphone works in these communities because they have a low rate of computer ownership, broadband access, credit card possession, and itunes accounts. But they do have pre-paid cellphones with bluetooth, so there is a very distributed network there for sharing information and music. I remember seeing people in the Philippines share information on their phones with each other and use them like laptops.

Although it looks like we're breaking away from the corporate music model, when compared to the potential growth of this distributed phone model, are we actually getting anywhere? People use ipods, but they can't talk to each other. I see local music around town and people are still selling CDs...a twenty year old technology. If I want to share it with my friends, I have to take the cd home, burn it to a computer and fileshare it from there, where I could possibly be ratted out by my internet service provider to the RIAA. Or I make copies of the CD to distribute to friends, or I buy more CDs. It'll be interesting to see where things go in the future.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Music Table

I don't exactly know what's going on here, but I think I like it. This device, which is supposed to be going into production soon, is a table that reacts to the blocks that are put onto it. It creates music based upon the orientation and placement of the different blocks. I love living in the future.