Johnny Photon Logo
home 2D Art 3D Art Contact Info

Archive for the 'Music' Category

It’s Noisy!

Tuesday, April 3rd, 2012

I wasn’t sure I was going to write about this article. As I’m trying to write and my wife is trying to nap, there is a lawn mower out there somewhere nearby. My closest neighbors have two Harleys. I’m reminded of the time I was doing contract work for a game company. I was really sick, really tired, and I had gone in on a Saturday to try and get caught up. They had a sound booth there which wasn’t nearly as sound proof as the one in that article. Some sound engineers had come in to work too and they were recording a woman screaming over and over and over…

I just need to relax, sit back and watch the Dalek relaxation tape.

I mentioned I bought a graphics tablet recently. I got to thinking how cool it would be to control music with it. It occurred to me someone probably has done that. After a short search I found a couple programs to do it. One of then I couldn’t get to work and the other one I can’t seem to pipe through anything other than the default synthesizer. My tablet senses gestures and has some other control features that Wmidi (the software) doesn’t take advantage of but it’s fun to play with. If you have a tablet, you can find the free software here.

I was laughing when I read this Wired article about the Navy making a real life laser cannon wondering what it actually sounds like. Because if you are going to spend a fortune on a laser cannon, it absolutely must sound cool.

This is another one of those ‘free energy‘  things that make you think if it were true it would completely change the world. There is a lot of discussion about whether it would violate the laws of thermodynamics in the comments. It’s kind of like these people. I’m pretty skeptical but it doesn’t mean I’m not rooting for somebody out there to make some sort of breakthrough. On the other hand, solar power in its various forms keeps advancing. You wouldn’t think about it, but making a better salt could make concentrated solar more affordable.

There seems to be a lot of nostalgia going on at kickstarter. I guess bringing back Leisure Suit Larry was to be expected.

When I think of Iran, I think of something desert like. I guess I’m not that well-informed. It’s a pretty big country. These pictures are absolutely beautiful and amazing.

And finally, something to make you say awww…


New Hardware

Thursday, January 15th, 2009

I haven’t been posting this week because I needed to buy the parts for a new computer. This is probably the longest I have ever gone without replacing one. Except for 3D rendering, the machines I have are fast enough for everything I do. I found I was out of touch with what has been going on in hardware and had to do some studying including a search on a number of terms to find out what they mean. The parts are on their way and next week I should be able to put it together. It should be blindingly fast compared to my old hardware. We’ll see.

Last I checked it had climbed up to a warm -4 degrees F out there today. I’m not sure I even want to step out for the mail. It’s probably just junk mail anyway. This site starts out with snowflake pictures but for a real treat, scroll down to the frost and ice images.

Here is another photo of a ship encased in ice.

I didn’t realize large circular disks of spinning ice would form in rivers.

Here is yet another cool ice photo.

Brrrr, after that I had to throw in a picture of someplace warm.

And now really hot; check out this image of a truck out running a volcanic blast.

I mentioned Megan Fox once a long time ago in one post, yet she shows up as the top search string in my stats for my blog month after month. This is for the Megan Fox fans out there.

It’s a little heavy on the science but this article entitled “Our world may be a giant hologram” is a pretty interesting read. I guess it wouldn’t surprise me if space-time was quantized, everything else is.

If it hurt your head to read that last link, take a moment to gaze at this cute shot of a mouse riding on the back of a frog.

This past Christmas I was trying to teach my nephew to juggle and realized I hadn’t done it for long enough I needed practice. When my friend Matt sends me a link and tells me to turn up my speakers I’m naturally a little cautious after some of the links he has sent me around Halloween. The following video is pretty good example of someone juggling to music. Definitely turn up your speakers.

While I’m writing I’m listening to NASA TV. There was an announcement today they found methane on Mars which may be being generated by some sort of life.

When I realized a virus was basically a chemical that could take over a cell, the line between what is alive and not seemed to blur for me. This article show that the difference between what is alive and what is chemistry can be very subtle.

Speaking of odd life forms, here are some very strange creatures, and more strange creatures.

This cat has an interesting way of using the stairs.

Check out this slo-mo video of a water drop hitting fine sand.

I got a laugh out of this.
fail owned pwned pictures

These images of ‘light pillars‘ are both strange and beautiful.

That is one big cat!

This is one elaborate cake!

This is a crazy staircase!

This video of a UFO would be fairly easy to fake but if it’s real, it’s pretty amazing.

Here is another funny sign.

If you read my blog, you know I end with some cute animal pictures. Since I haven’t posted in a while, I have a few for you. Here are squirrels, bears, and sleepy animals.

Magicians and Pickpockets

Thursday, November 20th, 2008

This article at Scientific American on how magicians and pickpockets trick your brain mentioned a couple of videos. Before you read the article, if you haven’t seen the video where you are supposed to count the number of times a basketball is passed between people wearing white shirts I wrote about it in this post.

I’m pretty sure I’ve linked to another one of the videos they mention before but it’s worth re-posting below.

It’s interesting in the article when they point out simply moving your hand in a curved or straight manner causes a different perception on the part of the viewer.

Of course, it’s nature who presents the grandest illusion of them all. This article is rather strong in physics content but the gist of it is summed up in the ending paragraph. All reality is virtual.

Speaking of physics, apparently there is an annual contest in Delaware to see who can build a device that can throw a pumpkin the farthest. According to this, it will be televised on the Science channel on Thanksgiving. After reading that I’m wondering what they meant by “growing special, aerodynamic pumpkins”.

Could solving the worlds energy needs be as simple as putting giant pipes in the ocean? I guess when it’s that big, it’s not simple.

After reading this article on why McDonald’s fries taste so good, I was reminded of the time I had to make artificial banana flavoring in chemistry. I spilled a little on my notebook and it stunk for months. All that chemistry and we still can’t seem to find frozen food we like.

Time magazine picks the best inventions of 2008. I was amused to see Hulu on the list. I have to admit I have gotten so used to it already I find it frustrating I can’t watch the shows I want at CBS and the Discovery channel sites. Also, I don’t know if it’s my setup or what but it’s not unusual for me to lose my data stream while watching a show online at ABC and have to try to find where I was. It’s funny you have to try to figure out which episode you saw last or want to see next.

On the subject of videos, I had seen some of these amazing animal videos before but not the one of the polar bears playing with dogs. I can’t imagine having a hippo around the house.

I got a chuckle out of this silly cat picture.

I don’t remember any archery at the bowling alley I went to as a kid.

The most dangerous roads in the world look pretty dangerous.

This house would be nice for the solitude but if would be tough when you needed groceries.

Here is a nice collection of beautiful landscape photos.

This rather bizarre article about Tennessee universities’ intention to spend 9.5 million dollars on anti-piracy measures made me wonder if it would just be cheaper for the university to buy content for their students.

These animal pictures are pretty nice, but it’s the landscape shot that really impressed me.

The photos of this Japanese winter light show featuring 4.5 million LEDs just gives you a taste of how cool it would be to actually be there.

And finally, we often joked getting one of those robot vacuum cleaners would scare our cats but obviously this one seems to enjoy it.

This Is Your Brain On The Internet

Friday, October 17th, 2008

A UCLA study has concluded searching the internet increases brain function. Don’t you feel smarter now?

HacknMod is a site devoted to building or altering your equipment. Who doesn’t want a giant pedal powered tank?

Speaking of mods here’s how to build a Wifi antenna using a vegetable strainer.

This article about the IRS using a hack-able computer system makes me feel oh-so-comfortable with the information they have.

Is it about zombies or not? A student was arrested on terrorism charges after his grandparents found a story he’d written. I have often thought Steven King would never make it though school these days.

Even so, police say the nature of the story makes it a felony. “Anytime you make any threat or possess matter involving a school or function it’s a felony in the state of Kentucky,” said Winchester Police detective Steven Caudill.

Give me a break! These people are afraid of zombies? Don’t expect any classic horror writers to come out of Kentucky in the future. Do you think the number of horror films involving proms will decrease after this? If they prosecute this kid for writing a zombie story, the terrorists have truly won.

The tune “Stayin Alive” has the ideal beat for giving CPR. Can you imagine waking up to someone pounding your chest while singing disco music? Great, now that song is stuck in my head.

Besides bringing you back to life, music has other amazing powers.

This site gives you the ability to generate you own soft drink can. Now I’m just not sure why I would want to. Actually, it is a pretty well designed site.

I’ve often thought some of the coolest things we will have in the future aren’t really predictable because they will be possible due to breakthroughs in material technology like this metal foam

Here’s a collection of award winning microscope photos.

Check out this nice collection of photos of frozen waterfalls.

Here is a site devoted to pictures of upside down dogs.

If that wasn’t silly enough for you, this lady has taught her cat to eat with a fork.

And finally, I really like this picture but frogs may not be cute enough for my ending picture so try this one.


Thursday, September 25th, 2008

I’m painting today so I just wanted to take a moment to share this with you.

I saw this at Dvorak‘s site. It’s a hilarious version of the theme song from Shaft done by the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain.

From The Mail Bag

Tuesday, August 26th, 2008

Sometimes writing this blog is as easy as looking through my mail.

Dan writes:
Here is a funny site you may want to check out – if you get their sense of humor


I have heard of this guy because he got a book deal right away after starting his site.

Matt writes:

Interesting game.

Can you guess where my accent is from?

I don’t know why I expected to do better on this quiz than I did. It’s actually really hard. I guess one of the things I would have liked would have been to be able to hear the person speak after I knew the choices. I’m not sure it would have helped.

Also from Matt is this video prank. If you let it play to the end, you can create an email you can send to your friends where it uses their names instead.

Again from Matt is this link to a short film which won the 2008 Cannes short film competition. If you have any ad blocking software, you probably need to turn it off to see it. Of course, my readers wouldn’t have ad blocking software on when they visit my site anyway. They would be missing all the ads from the great companies who help support my website!


I always find it fascinating when someone can tell a story in a few minutes without a big budget.

My wife sent me this link. It’s a video of a guy who built a model of the Beijing Olympic venue out of playing cards. I used to build some card houses when I was a kid but this guy has taken it to a level I would have never thought possible.

Sometimes I bookmark links and then forget what they were because the name of the link makes no sense in my bookmarks. That was the case with this collection of pictures of ‘Divorce Cakes‘.

This is pretty cool. It’s a guitar that can manipulate its own strings to sustain a note or sound like different instruments.

I would guess this image of a butterfly’s tongue was shot with an electron microscope. It’s amazing how feathery things look at that level.

This list of 50 things we now know we didn’t know a year ago has some surprises. Why in the world would skin cancer be 20 percent more common on the left side of the body?

And finally, usually I post a link to a funny animal or cute cat picture here. I don’t know if this is funny but it’s one amazingly large rabbit.

Smart Animals

Monday, May 19th, 2008

Years back when I used to go to SIGGRAPH, there were always innovative user interfaces in the exhibits. I was reminded of that when I watched this video of a drum sequencer controlled by placing gum balls in holes on a board.

This artist combines insects and antique watch parts for some strange art pieces.

I have never seen a commercial encouraging people to learn chemistry until now and this one is pretty strange.

DARPA has created some pretty cool things over the years and tried some pretty silly ones. Here is a summary of some of them.

A while back I wrote about free market government where we’d all live in spaceships and park over the country that offers you the best deal on your tax dollars. These people seem serious about making floating ocean colonies with the idea of creating a government from scratch.

One of my cats used to sneak up on another one of my cats when she was sleeping, smack her in the head and then run away. Besides feeling it was mean, I often thought about how much planning was required. Also, she obviously knew that she could get away with it because the other cat was asleep. Here is a round-up of the ten smartest animals.

This is pretty cool. It’s a machine that can sort garbage for recycling and not only power itself, but produce excess energy too.

This video involves flesh cutting so you may not want to watch it, but it’s a plasma scalpel in action.

Here is another nice collection of ‘stopped time’ photos.

Here is a picture of a giant couch made of sand.

Who would have guessed, some people would make rock balancing an art?

For you gadget lovers, here is a remote control car where you can wear goggles and see as though you were inside it.

And finally, check out this silly video of a puppy playing with chicks.

Free Stuff

Tuesday, May 13th, 2008

Someone showed me the Loremo site when I was out of town and I couldn’t remember the name until I ran across it recently. It’s a car that gets 120 mpg. If you go to the gallery, you can see the car opens through the front.

Here are some amazing pictures of a strap-on jet. I bet that gets your adrenaline going.

This chart of different biofuels is interesting, especially the algae line. It seems like everyday there are more candidates including fungus and sweet sorghum.

Microsoft released its WorldWide Telescope today. You can explore the universe and it’s free.

Speaking of free stuff on the web, here is an article about a free music studio called AudioTool.

I spent most of grade school trying to avoid learning grammar. Then, when I took a class in artificial intelligence, I had to write a program which would parse a sentence into its parts. There is a new search engine coming out which is supposed to be more intelligent. It seems like there are some things you just can’t search for on the web. Maybe it will help.

Here is a list of 60 photography links.

Here is a photo of an ancient Chinese earthquake detector.

Finally, check out these pictures of adorable cheetah cubs.

Space and Symmetry

Thursday, May 8th, 2008

This made me curious. NASA has scheduled a media teleconference Wednesday, May 14, at 1 p.m. EDT, to announce the discovery of an object in our Galaxy astronomers have been hunting for more than 50 years. Here is the link but it doesn’t say much more.

More space news; European probe finds missing matter. It’s amazing how much we don’t know about the universe.

Is the night sky darkest in the direction opposite the Sun? The answer is no. Here is a picture of the gegenschein which is a faint glow that appears at that spot.

One of the things we used to do when I first got the equipment to capture and manipulate full color images was to take a picture of someone’s face and mirror the left or right half. Even people with very symmetrical faces will look like two different people with two right halves or two left halves. This article is about why symmetrical faces are sexy. I suppose it’s no surprise that the golden ratio overlays I posted about earlier are completely symmetric.

Here is another extreme car. VW plans to sell a carbon fiber car which gets 238 mpg.

Here is why you should not store your tomatoes and cucumbers in the refrigerator.

This is a cool gallery of tiny grains of sand from around the world.

I’ve seen some of these before but this is one of the better collections of pictures of people hauling huge things.

In 1761 Benjamin Franklin invented the glass armonica. It’s a musical instrument which works in a similar way to rubbing your wet finger around the rim of a wine glass.

Finally, I’m not sure I’d really want to stand there.

Cyborg Bugs

Friday, April 18th, 2008

Here are the ten weirdest computers according to New Scientist Tech. You have to go to page two for the really odd ones. It’s hard to pick the strangest but I think the cyborg bugs get my vote. Check out the video. Stuff like that makes me think we may merge with computers before they become smarter than us.

Speaking of merging with machines, any volunteers for implantable brain electrodes?

This is really cool! It’s called Direct Note Access and it’s music editing software which does things I didn’t think were possible.

We don’t often get earthquakes here in the Midwest but we had one this morning. If it woke me up, I didn’t realize what had happened but we were wide awake for the 4.6 aftershock. Here it just rattled the house a little. I ran across this website for the USGS shortly after it happened.

Did you know the Earth hums?

It doesn’t sound practical, but this guy heated a hot tub using the heat from a reaction between quicklime and water. Years back we bought some dinners which you added water to something and then put the sealed food in the box to be steamed. I used them on a couple road trips but they stopped selling them.

I haven’t tried this yet but if you own a Canon camera, here is software and instructions on how to alter the firmware to get it to do new things. Some of them, like interval shooting and super fast shutter times, sound pretty cool.

Every time it appears they are hitting the limits of physics, someone figures out a way to make transistors even smaller.

Cicadas are so alien looking. Here is a stop action animation of one molting.

Finally, you may have thought of a lot of ways trampolines can be dangerous, but I bet this is not one of them.