Month: May 2004


hang The “hang” (pronounced “hung”) is a (relatively) new musical instrument that sounds like a hybrid steel drum and gamelan (a Thai xylophone). It is played with the hands or mallets (or whatever) on the lap or a stand and is tuned to make a variety of sounds depending on where it is hit. Hang means “hand” in the Bernese language.

It is made by a swiss company Panart but their web site is now down and they are only making a limited number of instruments duing part of the year. This is an exciting instrument so there should be a used market for it.

If you read down this rather long thread you’ll see that you can purchase a new hang by making an appointment with Hanghouse, traveling to Switzerland and… well, read the comments for more on this.

Looking out the other window

Flying home from Los Angeles I sat on the right side of the plane (again) which meant that my view was south.

Here’s an idea I had while flying. I realized that the arc of a view from over 30,000 feet might take in 100 miles which means that people sitting on one side of a plane might see a whole city while people on the other side see desert or a lake. So, like overseas flights where a GPS shows a map with an image of the plane moving over land and cities or water, why not tweak the GPS software to tell the folks on one side what they are looking at and the folks on the other side get a different story, 100-200 mile offset.

Unless the pilot comes on the intercom and announces that we’re now flying over Las Vegas, unless you have a good sense of geography or recognize it from the air, you might be clueless. A GPS solves this nicely but it needs to be sensitive to one’s arc of view.

Anyway, a meandering river, a road in the middle of nowwhere, countours in a clear cut, circular fields, tract housing, Chicago skyline, a Connecticut lake. Good to be home on the Connecticut lake side of things.

meandering river




trees and counter


circle irrigation

circle irrigation

circle irrigation

circle irrigation

tract houses

chicago skyline in haze

trees on lake in Connecticut

How it looks from Ireland

Brian ByrneAn online friend of mine, Brian Byrne, who lives in Ireland just wrote and put up A champion with tarnished armour.

I knew it looked this way from overseas but to read Brian’s writing… man, it’s bad here. Isn’t it amazing that our country can be going down the tubes and we continue to live our lives, go on about our business. This is how incidious it is and how screwed up we all are; we have compartmentalized this part of our lives (the part that cares about our country) so that we can function. Maybe it would be better if we didn’t function for a day or a week or until Bush is gone and we’ve taken back our country from all of these idiot politicians.

But, Brian Byrne first came to my attention with posts like this one in the AlphaSmart Community Center. Note, his screenname is “marieso”):

battery experiment … in the field

Kerry Button (or not)

Kerry button Here’s my situation: I’m a Democrat, I very much dislike George Bush (I have never considered him President as I do not respect the 2000 election process), and I will work and vote for John Kerry. However, I’m not enthusiastic about him and so, am reluctant to put his “button” or “badge” in the sidebar of my weblog.

This is an interesting situation because as much as I consider Ralph Nader a spoiler and one of the reasons we have “the moron” in office he has a good point about the need for more parties. India, the biggest democracy on earth has hundreds of political parties and other democracies have more than two.

Al Gore’s recent speech certainly turned my head and got me fired up. Why can’t Kerry be more like that? Why didn’t Gore make a fuss like this during the last election? Instead, he rolled over. I think he should have mobilized us and we should have taken back the country from the dictatorial Supreme Court. It’s a bit late now that our world standing is in the trash can and we’re losing men and women by the day in Iraq and our economy is in shambles. Where were these people (Kerry included) two years ago?

So, there you have it. I put out the button but would rather it said “Clinton” or “Gore.”