How the Earth rides around the Sun, and how that impacts our clocks and calendars.
Uncle Tupelo played their last show on May 1, 1994, captured for posterity (and with a decent board recording!) in this video. This seminal band, the progenitor of alt-country, had a huge influence on my musical tastes.
Rolling Stone recently published this fantastic oral history documenting the 25th anniversary of ‘Anodyne’, Uncle Tupelo’s final album.
The end of each year brings the best of lists from across the arts and entertainment media. Here is a list of best of articles that I’ll update as I find new ones.
David Ehrlich’s “The 25 Best Films of 2018: A Video Countdown” (video above)
The New York Times “The Best Books of 2018“
Paste Magazine “The 50 Best Albums of 2018“
Paste Magazine “The 25 Best TV Shows of 2018“
Google Play’s “Best of 2018“
Apple’s “Best of 2018“
The Wirecutter’s “The Gifts We Want To Give in 2018“
The New Yorker “The Best Podcasts of 2018“
AV Club “The Best Comics of 2018“
American Songwriter “Top 25 Albums of 2018“
Thinking back, my Mom and Dad were fairly early adopters of computing, which certainly helped spark my interest in technology. We had the Sears Tele-Games version of the Atari 2600. I remember my Dad bringing home a Compaq Portable from the office a few times. Our first true personal computer was the Tandy 1000, sold by Radio Shack. The Tandy 1000 was a IBM PC compatible computer than ran on a special version of MS-DOS. I don’t remember exactly which model, but I’m pretty sure it had the Intel 8088 processor. I remember ours having two 5 1/4 inch disk drives, which made it easy to load DOS and then a program. My favorite game was King’s Quest, a graphical adventure game by Sierra. And of course we had a dot matrix printer for printing school papers.
I posted my first article on this blog 15 years ago today. Some other things that happened on the internet in 2003:
- Android was founded
- iTunes store opened for business
- LinkedIn launched
- CAN-SPAM became law
- Safari browser was released
- Valve introduced Steam
- WordPress was released
The blog was originally on my old CriterionWebs.com domain, which I started in 1998. In 2004 I registered DeToffol.com. In 2005 I converted to using Moveable Type, a self-hosted blogging software package. I upgraded to WordPress in 2007 and haven’t looked back.
SpaceX just announced that the first private citizen to fly to the moon will be Yusaku Maezawa, a Japanese fashion entrepreneur. Yusaku has bought all the seats on the flight, choosing to invite 6-8 artists to join him. He has named his project dearMoon. The artists will be commissioned to produce works inspired by the trip, with an exhibit planned to share with the world. This is one of the best ideas of the century. Hopefully the project lives up to idea.
A short, touching documentary of the last day that Linotype machines were used to print the New York Times, July 1, 1978. These highly skilled craftsman were well aware that their trade was no longer needed. This is a visceral illustration of the amazing rate of change, productivity and displacement that computers have created across industries, including publishing, in just 40 years.
Neil Young released 54 years of recordings this week on a new website: Neil Young Archives. The site contains almost everything Neil has ever recorded or filmed, available for high-quality streaming over the internet. The site and all the content are currently free, but will eventually require a subscription.
Obviously Neil is a musical icon and a personal favorite. His library will stand the test of time. Making it available in this format, along with deep documentation, is a true treasure that will surely be emulated by other artists.
Randall Munroe, the author of the fantastic XKCD web comic, created this graphic charting Earth’s average temperature from 20,000 BCE. This visual representation is very helpful in putting our planet’s relative temperature fluctuations in the context of time, planetary events and human expansion. It is not a coincidence that the startling change in the last few hundred years comes directly after the industrial revolution and the human population boom, when carbon dioxide emissions took off.