Friday, December 24, 2010
Sunday, December 19, 2010
Ask any engineer how to flatten a tension curve, which is what EverTune does, and 9 out of 10 of them will say you should use a spring-and-lever system like the one I designed.
Cosmos Lyles, Engineer, Musician & Inventor of EverTune, "a guitar bridge that keeps the instrument from going out of tune no matter how hard its strings are strummed or bent," in The New York Times 10th Annual Year in Ideas.
Wednesday, December 08, 2010
Sunday, November 28, 2010
Sunday, November 14, 2010
One idea was Mesh, “but it sounded a little too much like mess.”
Sir Tim Berners-Lee on the deliberation that he and colleague Robert Cailliau went through before they arrived on the name World Wide Web back in November of 1990, according to Ben Zimmer in today's New York Times Magazine.
Also under consideration and dismissed for being "too egocentric": Mine of Information, or MOI, along with The Information Mine or TIM.
Sunday, November 07, 2010
Friday, October 29, 2010
fire broke out this morning in the hills above
Boulder; everything above 6th Street is evacuating;
I stopped home to grab a toothbrush just in case
the risk spreads to my place by nightfall and found
the whole neighborhood unfazed, drinking their
coffee, eating their sandwiches, while the fireplanes
buzz by overhead enroute to dump chemicals through
the haze of the rapidly approaching smoke and
Posted by suttonhoo at 2:00 PM
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
If you don't know who Elaine Stritch is then you're not a homosexual.
David Sedaris, this evening at the Boulder Theater.
Sedaris shared this observation just before he queued three minutes worth of Stritch reading from his new book: Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk.
The delight on his face as he listened to Ms. Stritch read from his story was one of the highlights of the evening. Alongside it: the way he pimped Wells Tower's first collection of stories, Everything Savaged, Everything Burned. Not because he was a friend -- "I've never met Wells Tower but I'm told he's very tall" -- but because he loved the book.
I knew the recommendation was coming because friends had seen Sedaris a short while back and they passed along the book title; what I didn't expect was the pure generosity of Sedaris' action. I was lucky to snag a seat with a good view to the stage, which afforded me a good look at the sweet smile that plays across Sedaris' face as he performs -- something I missed the last time we saw him from a great distance. He doesn't overplay his lines and they're terribly dry. Unless you're right on top of him it's easy to miss the deep kindness in his eyes -- especially when he's reading this kind of thing »
Sunday, October 24, 2010
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
Sunday, October 17, 2010
all weekend, and not all posted pics made it to all
This was one of my favorite shots from the weekend
so I wanted to be sure to get it out here.
Somewhere over the Charles River
Posted by suttonhoo at 5:32 PM
Saturday, October 16, 2010
Friday, October 15, 2010
Sunday, October 10, 2010
You just cannot compete with the scale of the Rockies. So we tried to make a building that was without the conventional scale you get from recognizable floor heights -- as in those monolithic structures that still survive from the cliff-dwelling Indians.The Architect IM Pei on his design for NCAR, completed in 1967
The National Center for Atmospheric Research sits on a high mesa a little bit distant from core of downtown Boulder; ten minutes by car if you follow Broadway to Table Mesa, an hour by foot if you take the serpentine trail that connects the scientific laboratories to the historic Chautauqua site. If it's late Summer like it was when I hiked it you'll find bushes rid of their berries and large black clumps of bear hair and satisfied scat littering the trails.
The Center is government funded and university driven and the site is open to the public -- we're free to wander all of its corridors without accompaniment, although if you materialize at the right time you can hook up with a tour guide who will tell you all about the work that's underway; how NCAR doesn't gather data so much as crunch it and make sense out of all the weather events that are occurring all around the world.
Global warming is the big story just now, has been for a while, and will probably be for a while longer »
IM Pei said his 1960s campus was influenced by the structures of the Mesa Verde Cliff-dwellers; the difference being, of course, that the Mesa Verde Indians sought shelter snugged up against the cliff walls and NCAR is exposed to the elements on the broadest part of the mesa. Given this it must create its own shelter and it does: stiff towers frame the perimeter like hooded sentinels peering out across the plain. It may be their height -- the great distance between base and crown -- that creates a feeling of openness and accessibility even under their tight watch. The towers aspire like science; more observatory than fortress, more invitation than obstruction.
Saturday, October 09, 2010
Monday, October 04, 2010
Sunday, October 03, 2010
Saturday, October 02, 2010
Toured five really lovely homes designed by the architect Dennis Blair in Long Grove, Illinois today, including the one that he designed for himself and his family and lived in for thirty years. All of the homes were nestled along the same sloping street, surrounded by Burr Oak and Japanese Pines.
The architect was in attendance, regal and grey, and told us about apprentencing with Wright at Taliesin (and scoring the Romeo & Juliet Tower as his quarters) as well as at the offices of Skidmore, Owings and Merrill in Chicago.
Blair won his apprenticeship with Wright through a well turned letter, and earned his keep through his skill as a draftsman -- in particular, his skill at drafting domes, which he came by in wartime Detroit where he worked for the government illustrating captured aircraft; domed bombers a among them. As a result, his was the hand that drafted the dome on the architectural plans for Wright's Guggenheim Museum in New York.
His architectural structures capture some of the quality of a heavy aircraft in flight -- long trim lines, brick and beam somehow soaring. That each was unique was the really telling part -- the architect has an eye for the interplay of geometry with the site and used a wide assortment of materials across structures from boulders to cedar planking to brick to flagstone.
The purring of the title came from a woman named Pat, whom we met on the walk between houses, and who lives in another mid-century home elsewhere, but mentioned it in reference to the qualities of really fine architecture and to what living within such a structure does to a person.
She's the caretaker of the home she lives in now; it's owned by a woman who will deed it to a foundation on her death, but this is the second house she's lived in that made her purr.
The first was one she visited with her husband when they first moved to the Midwest. He bought it to surprise her, knowing how she loved it, and called her to give her the news, telling her: "I bought a house for the cat."
Thursday, September 30, 2010
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Sunday, September 26, 2010
Friday, September 24, 2010
Sunday, September 19, 2010
Posted by suttonhoo at 12:09 PM
Saturday, September 18, 2010
Oh, that’s pretty cool. You know how hard-core that is?
Ryan Sowulski, age 22, commenting on Momo's painted line in this morning's New York Times.
The graffiti artist Momo tagged lower Manhattan back in 2006 -- quietly, majestically, magically. Watch the movie »
Saturday, September 11, 2010
Wednesday, September 08, 2010
smells like the campfire has just been kicked out.
Woke this morning to hills shrouded in smoke
where the fires are still burning through (last I
heard) three of Boulder's seven canyons. Unabated.
Posting by cameraphone from Boulder, CO.
Shot from my deck.
Posted by suttonhoo at 8:21 AM
Sunday, September 05, 2010
Sunday, August 29, 2010
Once when mowing I had a sudden image of a first-grade classmate, Drucilla, someone I did not know especially well and had not thought of, ever, for more than 55 years. For reasons I cannot explain, it was accompanied by sadness. Another time I was struck by a fully-formed interpretation of a movie my wife and I had watched two nights previously. It did not take shape; it came to me fully shaped. Yet another time I had an abrupt, powerfully moving image of my grandmother making ravioli, speaking in soft Italian, with 10-year-old me standing beside her on a step stool, watching her crack eggs into a crater centered in a pile of flour. Yet another time Frank Sinatra singing “Witchcraft” sprang to mind. I heard it; my body fell into the rhythm of it. Where does this all come from, and why? ... All I know is that a gated mental enclave briefly opened for a showing, that something, some connection, was occurring among my brain’s 100 billion neurons, each, like grass, part of a dense root structure, each entangled with the tendrils of other neurons.
It spooks me that the syntax of our minds is so complex, so capable of recursivity. It spooks me that the texture of our mental experience is so embodied, that our bodies and minds greet each other in mutual recognition and do not, as Descartes would have it, pass each other with an indifferent look. It didn’t spook Emerson, though; he knew that “under every deep, another deep opens.” All I know is that, sometimes, while cutting grass, what Seamus Heaney calls “the music of what happens” happens. I am in time, on the beat. My “I” meets my “me.” We have a beer afterward. Maybe two.
Jerry DeNuccio in The Metaphysics of Cutting Grass, The Smart Set
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
When my mother died
one of her honey cakes remained in the freezer.
I couldn't bear to see it vanish,
so it waited, pardoned,
in its ice cave behind the metal trays
for two more years.
On my forty-first birthday
I chipped it out,
a rectangular resurrection,
hefted the dead weight in my palm.
Before it thawed,
I sawed, with serrated knife,
the thinnest of slices --
The amber squares
with their translucent panes of walnuts
tasted -- even after I toasted them -- of freezer,
a raisined delicacy delivered up
from a deli in the underworld.
I yearned to recall life, not death --
the still body in her pink nightgown on her bed,
how I lay in the shallow cradle of the scattered sheets
after they took it away,
inhaling her scent one last time.
I close my eyes, savor a wafer of
sacred cake on my tongue and
try to taste my mother, to discern
the message she baked in these loaves
when she was too ill to eat them:
I love you.
It will end.
Leave something of sweetness
in the mouth of the world.
Anna Belle Kaufman in the September issue of The Sun