Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past six months, everyone knows that the latest movie in the Star Wars series opened last week. To say there was been hype would be a HUGE understatement. Coming out before Christmas, just about all of the stores were stocked with movie merchandise, and there were lots of advertising tie-ins.
The problem, of course, is that a movie might not live up to the hype. It could be as bad as, say, the Phantom Menace. Many fans were holding their breath, me being one of them. Despite the hype, bad things could happen. Continue reading “The Hype Awakens”
NOTE: I’m just now getting around to completing this post. This has been a very busy week.
Gallabrae – rhymes with Gallifrey, for the Whovians out there. It’s a made-up Gaellic term that’s supposed to mean “bold and daring” and “beautiful highlands.” It’s also the name that has come to symbolize the Greenville Scottish Games at Furman University. This year was the tenth anniversary of the games.
I hadn’t planned to attend the games this year. However, Laura’s plan for the day was to relax and read at the house. She needed the down time, but I’d been working around the house all week. I decided to head on up to Furman for the games. Continue reading “Gallabrae 2015”
Paul Wagenknecht had a confession to make. He and several other Furman professors had been making regular treks out to the Greer Dragway for their Thursday “Practice and Grudge Night.” He invited me to come along and bring my camera and audio recorders. How could I possibly refuse? Continue reading “Honeysuckle and Racing Fuel”
Reports from the BBC are that Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson is to be sacked today for getting into an altercation with producer Oisin Tymon. Apparently Clarkson punched Tymon when Tymon provided Clarkson cold cuts instead of steak after a long day of shooting. I’m sure there’s a much larger backstory there, but we’ll … Continue reading And on that bombshell…
Many years ago my brother Houston told me about a radio documentary entitled “The Bells of Europe,” which came out in 1973. Houston liked it so much that he ordered a cassette tape of the show, which I listened to, as well. It was an excellent show that documented the history of the bells of the cathedrals of Europe, from their creation to the destruction of many to build cannons for war.
The drama was the creation of Peter Leonhard Braun, a German radio pioneer. Braun’s intent was take radio outside of the studio. With audio recording equipment improving and becoming more portable, Braun wanted to explore the possibilities of creating audio documentaries on-site, and the Bells of Europe was the first of these documentaries.
Yesterday the world learned of the death of Leonard Nimoy, Mr. Spock of Star Trek fame. As you might imagine, there has already been a tremendous amount of eulogizing about a beloved character, actor, and human being. I don’t intend to repeat that, or post yet another image of the funeral scene from Wrath of … Continue reading Farewell Spock
Quick, let’s play a game. What do the following actors have in common?
OK, that one was probably too easy. Each of these actors played a character named James Bond.
How about another one? What do all these characters have in common?
Right, that one was too easy, too. All of these actors played Batman at one time or another.
Now let’s make it a bit harder. What about these actors? They have something similar in common.
If I told you that the three actors above are Alex Cord, John Saxon, and Kevin Sorbo, would that help? (And, no, they didn’t all play Hercules.) OK, I’ll tell you. All three of these played a character named Dylan Hunt. More on that a bit later.
Here’s one last one. These three also have something in common. Two should be very recognizable.
The inclusion of Leonard Nimoy and Brent Spiner in the last set might make you think Star Trek. (Well, that, and the title of the post) But who’s this third guy? It turns out that all of the actors in those last two sets have been involved with projects created by legendary Gene Roddenberry. As Dwight and I were working on our list of science fictions predictions we started talking about Roddenberry projects, and Dwight suggested a blog post on Lost Roddenberry. So, here it goes… Continue reading “Lost Roddenberry”
Here it is! Here’s the first episode of the Random Connections podcast! The first episode is based on one of the earliest posts on the blog. I had made a list of science fiction predictions that would have come to pass by 2004 in a post entitled “Yesterday’s Tomorrows.” Ten years later I updated the … Continue reading Days of Future Past
Ken Cothran was very indulgent. He waited patiently as I tried out all of the gear in the Moog showroom. After our Moog Adventure we were having a discussion on Facebook, and he confessed that most of what he had heard sounded like noise, and he wasn’t sure how such an instrument would be used in composition. Ken wasn’t criticizing the instrument, but just didn’t have the background with it.
I explained that for the most part at the Moog Store they were just putting the instrument through its paces, demonstrating the the types of sounds it could create. This would be similar to running a few scales on a chosen instrument. The Moogs are monophonic, and are meant to be part of a toolbox of instruments, which would include multi-track recorders and sequencers.
As I was trying to come up with a good example of how these instruments could be used (Monophonic Moogs specifically, as opposed to modern polyphonic digital keyboards), the first thing that came to mind was the classic – Switched on Bach, by Wendy Carlos.