Archive for the 'Culture' Category

Richard Paey released from prison

Thursday, September 20th, 2007

Back in September 2005, I wrote about Richard Paey. According to Wikipedia:

Richard Paey is a Florida man who was incarcerated in 2004 for drug trafficking. There was no evidence he ever distributed or intended to sell any pills, but drug laws in many states, including Florida, allow officials to prosecute for trafficking based solely on the quantity an individual possesses. Paey spent three and a half years in prison, until he was granted a full pardon by Florida Governor Charlie Crist in September of 2007.

As the St. Petersburg Times reports, he was freed from prison today: Paey given full pardon; Crist orders him freed today

The people responsible for his spending 3 1/2 years in prison should be ashamed of themselves.

Sometimes I seriously worry about this country…

The Parable of the Good Samaritan

Thursday, August 2nd, 2007

Just because the term “everyday Samaritan” was just mentioned on CNN: Parable of the Good Samaritan

Probably one of my top 3 bible stories (New Testament, to be precise).

Train video poetry

Sunday, March 25th, 2007

If you like trains, check out this video (shot today). I must find out the whereabout of that motel.

If you’re not into trains, well, then this blog entry is probably of marginal value to you. So what.

Personally, I would even prefer sound over video (and an uncut version, too). And with that long a train, you’d get a 30 minute audio collage easy.

Ah, maybe a summer project…

Update: My next vacation destination. Will the wife buy it, though? Somehow, I doubt it.

I’m on Twitter

Monday, March 5th, 2007

You know what to do…

I’m so lost

Thursday, February 22nd, 2007

Man, miss a season and you’re completely out of the loop. Apparently, there is more than just one island, more new people keep showing up, as more backstories (or “pieces to the puzzle”) unfold. Problem is, I’m kinda lost. Oh wait, that’s the name of the series.

Neue Deutsche Welle 2.0 (Da Da Da)

Sunday, February 4th, 2007

In case you’re roughly my age and from Germany (or for some odd reason ended up spending the ’80s there), you know what I mean: The Meebo Super Bowl XIL ad features one of Trio’s (the band) big hits.

I clearly remember when they would perform on the more traditional music shows on TV at the time (this was before the dawn of cable in Germany — all we had was three and a half friggin’ channels) and older folks would shake their heads (in what can best be described as a combination of both befuddlement and disgust) and go like: What’s that. That’s not music. He can’t even sing!

Imagine what you would have to do today to cause a scandal…

More Sunday hard rock

Sunday, January 21st, 2007

Another Sunday, another opportunity to discover a great piece of music (if only via CD, and not live in some concert hall some place):

Anton Bruckner’s Symphony No. 7, in a recording from 1989 with Herbert von Karajan conducting the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra.

His Seventh symphony was the most beloved of Bruckner’s symphonies with audiences of the time, and is still popular. It was written 1881-1883 and revised in 1885. During the time that Bruckner began work on this Symphony, he was aware that Wagner’s death was imminent, and so the Adagio is slow mournful music for Wagner, and for the first time in Bruckner’s oeuvre, the Wagner tuba is included in the orchestra.

Ah, the living room doesn’t quite do it justice (my stereo sound system whatever is fairly low-tech).

It's official: Ze Germans dig ze barcamp

Saturday, December 30th, 2006

Remember earlier this year? Thanks to Google, we learned that Germans — for all we know — tend to take their work very seriously. They are best known for their brutal sense of order, their punctuality, their keen sense of logic, for being better dictators than listeners, for their formality, their stubbornness, and their imposing personalities. Not the best conditions for the unconference movement to flourish, you might think.


First of all, the aforementioned stereotypes are just that — bad, bad stereotypes, and so unfair (ok, they are partially accurate, I give you that).

Second, there seems to be a growing desire among people from the German web and startup scene to get together in informal settings to share, learn and collaborate.

After Barcamp Berlin in September and Barcamp Cologne in November, Barcamp Nuremberg took place the weekend before Christmas, December 16-17 — completing the round of three German barcamps in 2006.

For all three, feedback has been very positive. In fact, quite a few out of the 300 or so attendees seem eager to keep it up in 2007. A number of cities are being mentioned that may host future camps: Frankfurt, Hamburg, Berlin and Cologne.

My hope is that once people discover they can organize an entire conference, they may soon consider starting their own companies as well.

A big thank you to Sebastian, Raju, Franz, and Joerg, the main instigators and organizers, and the many who helped them. Very nicely done.

Pockets of resistance, indeed.

Oswald Bates: “The crux of my venereal infection…”

Friday, December 22nd, 2006

With Holiday Season around the corner, it’s that time of year again to brush up on US pop culture classics. Enjoy!

Christmas Oratorio

Saturday, December 2nd, 2006

I went to hear Johann Sebastian Bach’s Christmas Oratorio (Weihnachtsoratorium) at First United Methodist Church in Palo Alto last night. The Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra and the Philharmonia Chorale under Nicholas McGegan gave an outstanding performance.

I was totally unaware of this ensemble until now, and pleasantly surprised to find something as good here in the US (as opposed to Europe where there is a much larger scene for this type of music it seems).

Plus, they did all six cantatas — a real treat!

If you enjoy early music on period instruments (or Bach in particular), you still have a chance to catch one of their upcoming performances in Berkeley (tonight and tomorrow night), San Francisco (December 8) or Contra Costa (December 9).