Monthly Archives: August 2012

Friday Night Music: Cowboy Junkies – Blue Moon Revisited

Since tonight is featuring a Blue Moon, this seems appropriate:

I used to see the Cowboy Junkies in run down bars like the Silver Dollar when they were first starting off. They were always great. Glad to see someone posted this on YouTube. Enjoy.

Cowboy Junkies – Blue Moon Revisited – YouTube

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On Spike Lee, then and now

Spike Lee has a new film out now, Red Hook Summer. The reviews at Rotten Tomatoes are split. Generally I got the impression that it was a rushed, low budget production, and that these aspects of it affected its quality. I think it will still be worth seeing, even if it isn’t his best.

Speaking of his best, this article, When Spike Lee Became Scary – Jason Bailey – The Atlantic, has a great retrospect of one of Lee’s finest films, if not the finest: Do The Right Thing. It’s a great essay not only for it’s analysis of the film, but of the reaction to the film and Lee in general. It made me want to see out and see it again.

A good rule of thumb for how to buy shoelaces

As a guideline, if you are buying shoelaces, it is recommended that for

  • 3-4 eyelets, get 24/27 inches 61/69 cm
  • 4-5  eyelets, get 30/36 76/91
  • 5-6 eyelets, get 40/45 102/114

 Good advice, but hard to remember.

Instead, multiple the number of eyelets by 8.5 and you will get the right size.

The end of Work: the apotheosis of robots and the degradation of humans

I think this passage from this article, New Wave of Deft Robots Is Changing Global Industry – NYTimes.com, is key:

Foxconn has not disclosed how many workers will be displaced or when. But its chairman, Terry Gou, has publicly endorsed a growing use of robots. Speaking of his more than one million employees worldwide, he said in January, according to the official Xinhua news agency: “As human beings are also animals, to manage one million animals gives me a headache.”

There you have it, in blunt language. Humans are animals, and animals are secondary to machine when it comes to making lots and lots of things.

Robots are only going to get better and better at making things. Alot of things. Not only that, but robots will get cheaper and cheaper as they get better and better. Add 3D printing to that and soon the need for humans to make anything will decline rapidly.

We need to rethink the notion of Work. The idea that everyone needs to Work, and that they can only have an income if they do Work. It will get to the point where it will not make sense for people to make many things, other than as a hobby.

We will have very efficient ways to make things without people, but people will still exist. If they have no income, there will be no one for the owners of the robots and machines to sell to.

Henry Ford brought in a new model and changed the way people worked. We need a new model.

Some thoughts on miners shot dead during coal mining strikes: Cape Breton and South Africa

In Cape Breton in the 1920, there were long battles between the miners and the miner owners over wages and living standards. Among other things, as it says in the The Canadian Encyclopedia,

The 1925 strike lasted 5 months and culminated in a bloody battle at Waterford Lake, where coal miner William Davis was killed by company police on 11 June 1925.

Growing up in Glace Bay, Cape Breton, we honoured William Davis annually on Davis Day, decades after the event occured.

It’s some of the things that I thought of when I read about South African Police Fire on Striking Miners in NYTimes.com. The South African tragedy was much worse, with 18 miners dead.

I hope cooler heads prevail and that the miners get much better treatment. There is nothing that can be done to reverse the terrible death of the miners, but there should be great efforts made to comfort and compensate the families of them, not to mention changes put in place to prevent this from happening again.

Mining is tough enough underground. Above ground, it should not be tougher.

Midweek music: the Dixie Cups performing “Iko Iko”

This video is superb: classic song, sweet performance, excellent outfits, wonderful dancing….even the comments below the video are good. For example, I learned that the “guys behind the singers are actually the Hondells who had a big hit with “Little Honda” in 1964. They seemed to where those sweaters a lot”. I always love when people post rare clips like this from the 50s and 60s. Who knows if alot of that material will be lost for all time? Enjoy it while you can.

Dixie Cups – Iko Iko (Rare clip) – YouTube

 

On Google’s Graveyard

ITbusiness.ca has a good rundown of all the products that Google has killed over the years: Google’s Graveyard: 15 products Google has killed- CDN Slideshow.

It is quite a list, and also a good reminder that just because it is from Google, there is no guarantee that it is going to be around for along time.