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Just took a scary spill on my bicycle: the bolt holding the seat on snapped in two (see my photo above) throwing me off balance and into a high speed dive to the pavement. One wrist got bruised; I don't think it's too bad but ask me tomorrow. I managed to roll and shift my weight so my butt took most of the impact. The pedestrians across the street on the sidewalk were mightily freaked out seeing this dramatic fall and I had to reassure them. If a car had been behind me, well...
I guess I could threaten the bike company but seeing as it's a nineteen year old machine and I've stood on the pedals putting weight against the seat-sides probably a million times, it's my own f*ing fault for not foreseeing this (the Republican way: blame the victim, blame yourself...) The question now is, what other ticking time bombs await? New bike or new bolt?
From the New York Times:
An antiwar speech by Cindy Sheehan, the mother of an American soldier killed in Iraq, was cut short yesterday after the organizer of the event was arrested and police officers confiscated his audio equipment.From Steve Gillard:
The claps and cheers that had greeted Ms. Sheehan's arrival at the rally in Union Square quickly turned to furious chants of "Let her speak!" as officers ushered away the organizer, Paul Zulkowitz, who the police said lacked audio permits for the event.
This was cleared with City Hall, because no cop is politically ignorant enough to do this on his own. You think Ray Kelly was surprised by this? You think this was done behind Bloomberg's back?UPDATE: An anonymous commenter opines that "they could have just gotten the permits." According to the announcer at the event (and other accounts I've read) the organizers tried repeatedly to get them and were rebuffed by the City. That's how free speech is denied in NYC. It must be nice to live in a bubble and think the loss of our liberties is only a problem for people too dumb to do the paperwork.
Hell no. They have been harassing Critical Mass for two years. They have tried to block protests and shunt them to Randalls Island or the West Side Highway since 2002.
Do you want four more years of this?
Cindy Sheehan was protected by the Crawford sheriff. She was silenced by the NYPD.
That's pretty fucking shameful.
Bloomberg acts like a Democrat when it comes time to placate people. But he's a control freak Republican when it comes to Bush and national policy.
Remember, protecting the grass of the Great Lawn is more important than free speech, unless Disney wants to rent it.
So tell me again how Freddie Ferrer is a party hack. Because I think it is highly unlikely these policies would continue. Bloomberg has fought every protest which would make the GOP look bad.
I guess he wants to protect his $7m investment. The question is do you?
The online forum Wired New York has found my 2003 post on Lord Norman Foster's "finished" Hearst Tower design. That sucker is almost complete now, standing proud and ludicrous among the parapets of the lower Columbus Circle area. Much as I like the top, "modern" part of the project, it looks as incongruous in real life sitting on that Deco pedestal as it did in the plans--exemplifying what Herbert Muschamp called "parabuildings" and Bill Schwarz more accurately calls "spaceships on rooftops."
John Carpenter's Prince of Darkness was on the Sci Fi channel in the wee hours last night. Carpenter is one my favorite movie directors but not without flaws. Found this commentary on IMDb and present it intact:
You gotta love liquid Satan!, 11 June 2005
Author: greg Humphrey (greg(at)gbhumphrey(dot)com) from United States
OK what's more scary, liquid Satan or 1987 fashion? Jameson Parker's mustache is impossible to tear your eyes away from- YES!! And the form fitting Izod! Oh my god! John Carpenter's production values have a definite sameness between his films. If you aren't paying attention you wouldn't know if you were watching "Assualt on Precint 13", "The Thing" or "Halloween". The look, the music, the acting... not much range. However it's a comfortable spot. You don't have to think or be involved too much, Carpenter is taking care of the action. The characters are not too deep, the Chinese teacher spends the first 5 minutes of the movie reciting fortune cookie philosophy, for example. Donald Pleaseeance is a scary guy... period! Alice Cooper ( welcome to MY nightmare) even with his pancake makeup isn't as scary as Pleaseance. The cast of students are typical. Geek, Jock, Brainy chick, Vulnerable chick, but no super hot chick. Interesting, I guess the studio left him alone on this one. The tension is a slow build, way too slow for today's audience. I mean, it's a BOTTLE OF LIQUID Satan! He's probably going to get out and break things! We know that! Get on with it!
"Riveter" [mp3 removed].
This piece is constructed from overlayed (licensed) midi demos from a couple of different genres; the samples are from an 80s style drum machine but the most interesting, sculpted notes come from Native Instruments' "Machine Kit," sound design by Smyglyssna.* Layering rhythmically incompatible midi files together initially sounds confusing and not too enjoyable, so the "art" is separating the files by pitch and spreading them around over several minutes' playing time in a proportioned Steve Reichian sort of way, giving each sound the maximum space and "surprise value" as it is introduced.
This is part art, part (hackless) game modding, but also a kind of reporting: many of the licensed sounds used are state of the art electronic noises, elaborately manufactured and processed as described in the NI product notes and meant to be used in every kind of music production from TV soundtracks to basement-made dance music. They aren't that interesting when you just hit "note on," though--someone has to write tunes for them, or put the art frame around them so you can hear them with greater delectation.
*According to his notes, he made the Machine Kit excusively with the sounds of the Elektron MachineDrum: "some of them have been re-sampled after being treated with BATTERY, others have been pampered with external filters, distortion and EQ."
Belatedly came across an on-again, off-again feature on Slate called "Mixing Desk"--the latest installment is a tribute to the wacky Moog synthesizer. Mingled in with critical writing you find little clickable speaker icons that say, for example, "Listen to Stereolab's 'Eternal Life of the Proletariat.'" You think, "Hmmm, Slate's getting on the mp3 blog bandwagon, well, cool, at least the music's getting out there."
What a bunch of crap, though. When it says "listen to..." it means "listen to a 29 second excerpt in Windows streaming format." They're so beholden to commercial interests they can't even give you one song to connect the criticism to--just a little taste so you'll go buy the goddam thing. Wondering how electronic dance music critic Philip Sherburne, who did an earlier installment on German techno, agreed to participate in this garbage. He has a blog, for cryin' out loud.
"Gridbug Variation" [mp3 removed]. Minimal dub techno. All beats. Kind of warm and fuzzy for the genre, and not totally humorless. A volume bump or pair of headphones is recommended--to keep the echo-spikes from clipping I had to lower the overall decibels, and that was with compression. I need a professional to mix these things now. Update: Forget what I said about the volume. It's fine--it would help if I remembered to turn up the bass on my mixer.