modular layers
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Here's one for the What in the Holy Hell category:Ulli's Roy Orbison in Cling-film site. Hunh?
~ scott @ 11:51 AM [link]
I won an auction

Vacuum tubes over 100, small types

See, I've been dealing with this group of vac tubes I picked up at our local auction - I was actually bidding on the nice $5 wooden shelf they were in, but picked up 150 various tubes in the process - and in sorting them and learning the lingo and stuff, I've sorta gotten hooked! They're actually very cool little technology artifacts; I love the way that they are of a previous era, where they were such a breakthrough that they became ubiquitous, but couldn't be more antiquated in the era of silicon chips and fiber optics. But the twist is that they're living this vampiric after-life -- totally useless to mose, but still valuable to this small minority for use in vintage gear, like antique radios and tube amplifiers. Sculpturally, some of them are amazing.

Of course, like the fairydust hope-geek I am, I'm imagining some diamond in the rough factor coming into play... like the obscurely rare 7094, which runs a cool $125 these days, apparently. That'd be a nice find in my $12.95 + shipping box of crap from eBay. (Dream on.) Cindy is dismayed, not so much because I've picked up yet another interest, but to the extent that it's been spread out on the dining room table for a week or two. Gonna need a designated space. How does one fit 14 hobbies into one house?
~ scott @ 11:59 AM [link]
Steven Johnson article

Nice article on Slate by Steven Johnson (a very good tech writer, by the by.. here's his site) about the Google/Blogger deal. Sounds alomst likely to emerge, in one form or another. God knows I could use the memory upgrade!

I get a little post-post-dom-com squiggle in my stomach at the thought of the cooler than cool stuff going down at some of these companies, ready to crawl into the light of day when the time is right. What's around the corner that will be as much a revelation as Amazon or or email? Even my mom was exclaiming the other night at how it seems like the web has been here forever and how would we live without it.... ah, technolust. Just like the old days of 1999.
~ scott @ 4:58 PM [link]

So Spike Lee was here last week, as a featured speaker at DePauw. One topic was "rolling up your sleeves" to do the hard work required to accomplish anything in an art medium. Some of my students thought this was the same old same old, just coming out the mouth of a celebrity. And I have to wonder: does it make any difference who the speaker is, when giving advice on achieving "success"?

Someone in my class suggested that the advice would mean more from someone who had not "made it", more like a cautionary tale from the downside. That has some merit. The best conclusion I could come up with was that where someone started out - wealthy with many options, poor with few, born at the wrong time, wrong place, wrong genetics to get the job done - may make all the difference. I'd sit down and take advice from someone born without much who managed to move to the respectable middle, to make a place for themself.

But I guess in this case, I am more impressed to hear the "work hard" mantra from Spike Lee than I would be from the average Joe. For one, it's coming from an artist who has managed to succeed in almost any measurable way, but maintained a personal vision in the process. For another, he's seen and done things that I can only wonder at -- what's it like to work with some of the best people in your field? To conceive a major project and see it through to completion? To have the resources to make anything you want, and follow your instincts? And while it may not seem to be the most profound of messages, if someone with his obvious gifts and experiences thinks it's the worthwhile thing to say, maybe those who doubt it should listen differently.
~ scott @ 8:50 AM [link]