Jowi Taylor conceived of the concept for this fantastic guitar. Built by master luthier George Rizsanyi, the guitar was constructed from 64 pieces, collected by Taylor, representing various aspects of Canadian history and culture. The guitar has toured the country and been played by well-known musicians and regular people alike.
photo credit LexnGer
hat tip boing boing
Wataru Itou put quite a bit of work (over four years) into this paper project.
for more pictures and information see
Tokyobling’s Blog - A Paper Craft Castle On the Ocean
hat tip boing boing
Chris Isaak's (wikipedia) Wicked Game is a great song (with an even greater video). The Lucky Bucks' cover of Wicked Game is fantastic as well. I'm new to this band and was intrigued to see their approach to drums and bass.
In the spring of 2008, the band Sons of Maxwell (wikipedia) were on a plane to begin a short tour. While waiting to deplane, United Airlines baggage handlers were seen carelessly throwing the band's instruments around, including a $3,500 Taylor guitar. Despite being enclosed in a hard shell case, the guitar was heavily damaged by United's baggage 'handlers.' Although the guitar was repaired (at a cost of $1,200), it is not the same guitar it once was. United was unwilling to pay band member Dave Carroll for the repairs of his guitar (personally I think they owe him a new guitar) so in response Dave has decided to write 3 songs about the incident. Here is the video of the first song.
Dave Carroll - United Breaks Guitars
hat tip Michael Geist
This is a remote control scale model of the Russian Mi-24 helicopter just might be the coolest remote control vehicle ever. Impressive.
hat tip Gizmodo
If you have traveled by airplane more than a few times, you probably don't pay close attention to the flight safety instructions (I know I don't). In an effort to grab the attention of passengers, Air New Zealand has created a flight safety instructions video featuring Air New Zealand employees giving the instructions wearing nothing but body paint.
hat tip @guykawasaki
In late 1998 I became interested in poker when I discovered that it was a game of skill. I bought several books on poker strategy and began studying the game. About the same time a movie called Rounders was released, several online poker sites started and the Two Plus Two strategy forum launched, all of which helped spur an increase the level of interest and participation in poker. Poker began growing significantly when Chris Moneymaker, an amateur player, won the 2003 World Series of Poker Main Event, the World Poker Tour (wikipedia) was established and the introduction of the hole card camera to TV poker broadcasts. The subsequent poker boom resulted in many people playing online poker, including a lot of college age (and sometimes younger) kids.
DeucesCracked and 918 Films have produced a good documentary on Greg Lavery (aka CAPTAIN ZEEBO, captZEEbo on 2+2), one of these young poker players. The film provides an interesting look at Greg's life, as well as, a glimpse at some of the other young players involved in the game. However, it should be noted that Greg's story is not representative of all (or even many) of those involved in online poker.
Music journalist Tom Moon has written what looks to be a great new book, 1,000 Recordings To Hear Before You Die. Tom has appeared on NPR's All Songs Considered to discuss the book several times and these episodes are well worth listening to. This book will be in my next Amazon.ca order.
NPR - All Songs Considered - 1,000 Recordings To Hear Before You Die
NPR - All Songs Considered - More Recordings To Hear Before You Die
Have you ever misheard the lyrics of a song and found yourself singing the wrong words while listening to the song? It turns out there is a word for that. Who knew?
Marina Orlova (aka Hot For Words) is not your typical teacher, she has been teaching viewers word meanings and origins with YouTube videos since mid 2007. In this video she discusses the word mondegreen.
Hot For Words - Nerd Word of the Day: Mondegreen
Some folks put a lot of time, effort and creativity into making some great sand sculptures.
My nieces and nephews may not be at the same level...
It was the second of two days off on the Tour de France (wikipedia) today. The Tour is full of all sorts of colourful characters, including some of the fans. Dieter "Didi" Senft (wikipedia) is one of those characters. After years of seeing Didi and his painted tridents on TV, it was great fun to see and drive over his tridents in Hamilton, Ontario after he and the world's best cyclists visited the city for the 2003 World Championships.
Here is El Diablo at the 2008 Tour de France.
The Moon Landing and the celebration of its 40th anniversary isn't terribly interesting to me. However, if you can add a little music to the mix, then maybe you'll get my attention. David Bowie's (wikipedia) Space Oddity is also 40 years old and he is marking the occasion by releasing a 40th Anniversary EP. The EP includes 8 stem tracks allowing people to remix the song. He has also released in iPhone app version of the EP.
I would have included the video of the song in this post but apparently EMI doesn't think that allowing people to embed their promotional material is a good idea.
hat tip Create Digital Music
hat tip @TheChristinaKim
DJ Earworm has created some interesting mashups. Be sure to check out his United State of Pop 2008 mashup.
One of the earliest examples of the mashup genre, The Freelance Hellraiser's A Stroke of Genie-us (a mashup of The Strokes' Hard To Explain and Christina Aguilera's Genie In A Bottle), still remains one of my favorites.
Where are the robots? The long-standing, futuristic vision of robots still hasn't arrived. I tend to be skeptical about the possibilities they might provide. However, for specific, limited tasks I think they can be very effective. Researchers are doing some intriguing work in robot development, particularly with mobility. Here are a number of talks and videos on recent robotic research in robot mobility. Some of the things researchers have been able to accomplish are quite fascinating. I found the Big Dog and Gecko robots particularly interesting.
modsnake hat tip boing boing
hat tip @GuyKawasaki
There are a limited number of paths a rock band can follow. This handy chart illustrates these possibilities. If you are in a band or care deeply about one, take note.
SkySails is taking an interesting approach to improving fuel consumption on freighters. Using wind power.
As the Sony v. Tenenbaum trial begins, it's worth noting that not everything the record industry whines and complains about has the negative impact they claim it does. Some record labels have been demanding that their promotional videos and user created videos containing their songs be taken down from YouTube. However, when indie band Barcelona (wikipedia) discovered that the Kuroshio Sea video uploaded to YouTube used their song Please Don't Go as the soundtrack they didn't freak out and demand the track be removed the video. Why? Because exposure from the video has resulted in an increase in sales of their music on iTunes and fans attending their concerts.
see Barcelona's video response
Yesterday I posted about 5 year old Wesley's cover of Folsom Prison Blues. Wesley's guitar teacher is Rob Hampton (blog) and every year Rob has a Spring Coffee Shop Jam where his students perform for family and friends. You can see a number of these performances on his YouTube account (srmaximo). Another of his students is 9 year old Emma. Emma's "guitar" lessons are really lessons in guitar, keyboard, singing, songwriting and recording. Here is a video of her performance of Snow Day, a song she wrote. I love this song and performance. Enjoy!
A Guitar Teacher's Lesson Notebook - Incredible performance by a 9-year-old