Opposite Foot Triplet

For those who read my continuing meanderings on getting my right side to behave just like my left, today we’re going to talk about triplets. Of course, these wouldn’t be your everyday, garden variety triplets ‘cause we’re too screwy for that here at The Chimp Refuge. No, this is going to be special.

Ah, the myriad joys and accidental discoveries of symmetrical drumming. For those who read my continuing meanderings on getting my right side to behave just like my left, today we’re going to talk about triplets. Of course, these wouldn’t be your everyday, garden variety triplets ‘cause we’re too screwy for that here at The Chimp Refuge. No, this is going to be special.

Continue reading “Opposite Foot Triplet”

Fun Is Where You Find It: The Tune

Much has been written on the Refuge regarding what might be termed fine motor co-ordination experiments. That, and something to do with playing the drums in a manner that most drummers don’t, you know, like backwards. Some might ask “What is the point of practicing a double paradiddle on a bunch of left-side mounted toms for a right handed drummer?” I guess one could be philosophical and say “Because it’s there” but ultimately, doing something musical is what matters, at least to this little bonobo. Exercising your brain to perform unusual patterns at will simply gives the musician a larger vocabulary. You may never use it in casual conversation but it’s nice to know what “crepuscular” means (and perhaps more important, you get to make funny bastardizations like “crapuscular”).
In any case, for the curious two or three Refuge readers and the occasional demented passer-by, here’s a tune that recently emanated from the not-particularly-normal brain and appendages of yours truly. Yeah, this is the sort of thing I do on my days off. It’s called Fun Is Where You Find It. It’s about three minutes and 54 seconds of fun-finding, or approximately the duration of a world class mile race.
Some technical details. There are two basic tracks, electronic drums and bass. The synth pads are also triggered by the drums. The tune uses an ABACBA structure. The drums are panned as if the listener was sitting behind the kit rather than in front watching. Thus, you will hear roto-toms off the left and right as I have a symmetrical kit (three toms each side for this kit). For example, there is a little fill in the A section that sounds pretty standard as it moves across three small rotos, but they are played from center to the left in spite of the fact that the pitches are descending. This allows for a complementary fill later on the right side using more conventional sticking. The C section features marimba and xylophone parts, but like the drums, these are electronic instruments not the real thing (have you priced a symphonic marimba recently??)
One thing is certain after listening (well, besides the occasional sloppy playing and thrown-together mix): I rather enjoy dissonance and quirky rhythmic snippets. Hey, it’s just the way my brain is wired.
Oh, and happy Thanksgiving.
Update, Friday Nov 28, 9:40 AM Apparently the server where the tune resides is undergoing maintenance (link above), so here is an alternate link.

Caption This!

Do your best to find a good caption for this picture. What is it about these blue and white signs?

Do your best to find a good caption for this picture. What is it about these blue and white signs?
Hmmm, let me think…let me think….
There’s a theme here….
Corner2.jpg
Yes, the first thought into my head was “Ah, this must be the Fantasy Corner.”
You betcha!

Abiogenesis as a Tetris game!

So Spawn the Elder (my son) is an avid gamer in such milieus as World of Warcraft, Halo, Civilization, and Lord of the Rings Online, the latter of which, errr, I might have indulged in a few times — I’m pretty hopeless with gaming so my foray into Middle-earth was an unmitigated disaster. So the elder Spawn was pretty excited to nab the Spore Creature Creator this summer, but he is really jazzed with the prospect of getting his nerdsome hands on the full-fledged game to be released on Friday.
Erstwhile Science Blogger Carl Zimmer covered the impending release of Spore in his excellent NYT article Gaming Evolves. From Carl’s piece:

Unlike the typical shoot-them-till-they’re-all-dead video game, Spore was strongly influenced by science, and in particular by evolutionary biology. Mr. Wright will appear in a documentary next Tuesday on the National Geographic Channel, sharing his new game with leading evolutionary biologists and talking with them about the evolution of complex life.

Brian Ries, PR wonk, sent a clip from National Geographic in which Will Wright, the principal designer behind Spore and The Sims, discusses “How to Build a Better Being.”

And yes, this post is diverging into a free advert for the game, but it does look very cool. I was entranced with the Creature Creator; other Science Bloggers have fiddled around with this, too — just type “Spore” into the search function on the main site. So I’m afraid hobbit burglers, elven loremasters, and dwarf guardians are going to slip by the wayside in favor of Tetris-like nucleotides and amino acids, bizarre microbes and arthrpods and Punctuated-by-Fun(tm) evolution! on this page you can see how it looks on some of the best screens.
I wonder if the infamous Zero Punctuation a.k.a. Ben Croshaw will deign to make a commentary on this. Probably not. But if the Beck Fan Club is pining for his full-on yammering, do check out Croshaw’s video game reviews (video clips below – NSFW). Even if you’re not a gamer, they’re rabidly amusing, although his churning stream o’ verbiage is but a pale and measured British-by-way-of-Australia (or some such sun sinking on the empire) version of kemibe’s at his most shrill.


Sex and the Olympic Village

A very entertaining article in The Times today regarding Olympians and sex. The author, former Olympian Matthew Syed, discusses just what goes on behind closed doors (and sometimes on rooftops) at the Olympic village. He offers the usual bag of “reasons why” (testosterone, being away from home, etc.) but it’s presented in a light and humorous manner, a good read. Consider the opener:

I am often asked if the Olympic village – the vast restaurant and housing conglomeration that hosts the world’s top athletes for the duration of the Games – is the sex-fest it is cracked up to be. My answer is always the same: too right it is. I played my first Games in Barcelona in 1992 and got laid more often in those two and a half weeks than in the rest of my life up to that point. That is to say twice, which may not sound a lot, but for a 21-year-old undergraduate with crooked teeth, it was a minor miracle.

But my favorite is:

Which all begs a question, or possibly many questions. First, and most importantly, how can one get access to the village?