14 November 2007

IKEA product names... and some other nonsense

I seem to have disappeared for a bit, sorry about that. Thought you might enjoy:

What are you lookin' at, EKTORP?
David Byrne (yes, David Byrne has a blog! I hadn't known...) wonders aloud about IKEA - is it some odd video game-like world? - and teaches us, via Wikipedia, what IKEA's product-naming conventions are! Here you go. The IKEA stuff is at the bottom. (Surprise to me, actually. I thought it was Haagen-Dazs-esque nonsense.)

How to Deal With Obnoxious Bluetooth Headset Talkers
A funny video clip with Larry David. This is, like, so me. Nothing gets me more rankled during my (not at all yuppie...) visits to Starbucks than the throngs of people TALKING INTO SPACE.

What if 24 were actually set in 1994?
This CollegeHumor video is making the rounds. Quick! Bauer! Log on to AOL!

Regarding Fine Print
The consistently insightful Seth Godin comments about product markings that accentuate the good and hide the bad... and how you can build trust by doing otherwise.

The Game
Boola boola! Go Bulldogs. Here's to another year of keeping one of our behind-the-scenes wedding vows... and to staying awake.

(Actually, if any Yalies are reading this, you might get a weird kick out of the discussion page of that article - an unusually well-worded argument about what the article title should be. Pshaw! (swirls brandy snifter, patriarchially).)


ps Regarding something I mentioned in the midst of all that Enlightenment huffery, I am still struggling with that brief piece that shares this one particular engineering thing for non-engineers because I'm having trouble coming up with a real-world application of it that won't put people to sleep in the process. Other than answering the questions, "why do wagon wheels look like they're spinning backwards in old movies?" and "why can't radio stations be closer together?" which, actually, are really closely related.

pps Literature people: am I alone in disliking the poetry of Ezra Pound? Do you have to swallow a library of ancient Greek and Latin books, with a chaser of Pretentious, to get him?


Matthias said...

My !@#$!@#% browser just ate my half-written comment, so this is the short version.

Re. wagon wheels etc: the other day I was thinking about how to explain guitar tuning by ear to a friend with no ear training or knowledge of music theory. One way you teach people to tune one string to another is to listen for the pattern "beats" that arise when two notes that are very close together are played simultaneously -- coming of course from the interference between the two frequencies, and such that the frequency of the beats goes up as the tones get closer together.

That may be completely irrelevant to your actual question, whatever it was, but it's interesting to me since I had actually been wondering to myself whether I could explain that in an intelligible way (to a non-musician/non-science person). I'm still not sure.

(I hope you understood all that. I realize that as a percussionist certain concepts like "pitch" and "tuning" may be unfamiliar, but just bear with me.)

G-Fav said...


Hey, if the way Mr. Duffy tugged at his ear whenever I mistuned the timpani was any indication, then no, I don't know anything about pitch. :-)

Yeah, I wanted to write a little thing about "change of domain," e.g. frequency domain vs time domain. I agree that musicians have the beginning of this notion, if you turn one instant of sheet music sideways.

The easiest thing I can come up which most people already do in the frequency/phase domain is telling you when a recurring appointment is. In the "time domain," you'd say something like, "The 7th day of the year, the 37th day of the year, the 67th day of the year..." whereas they're doing something equivalent to what an engineer does when they say, "Every Tuesday, starting on March 5."


G-Fav said...

Uh... I meant, "every month, starting on January 7."


Matthias said...

I'm still not sure I see what you're after. Was that somewhere in that huge Enlightenment for Engineers post and I just keep missing it?

Matthias said...

Oh, it was in the P.S. I still don't know what you're getting at though. Maybe you just write that post already.

(Oh by the way, I did remember about the tympani, I just chose to ignore it.)

Anonymous said...

Re: Ezra Pound: You have my official permission to dislike him.

I kind of enjoy his poetry, but mostly because over the years I've looked up the references in the poems I actually teach, which means that for the duration of those (eight or ten) poems I can pretend that I'm as culturally literate as Pound is, and thus join him in smug self-satisfaction. However, I don't really think that that's what poetry's for, and there's a very clear and easily drawn connection between his poetic obscurity and his fascism. So frankly, whenever I find myself liking a Pound poem I worry that I'm becoming a bad (worse) person.