News of the Weird

“What’s a CD, Grandpa?”

Well, there do exist people who need that stuff. They fall mainly into three groups:

  1. If I buy the most expensive stuff, people will think I’m cool. The less useful, the better! Money flex!
  2. Someone said this was better, so it must be true. I’m no expert, and I don’t have time to become one.
  3. I “can” hear the difference, and I live a cursed existence because of it. Most music is painful rather than enjoyable.

3 is a very small group of people and many people who claim they hear a difference do not. Multiple blind tests have been done that indicate that the vast majority of people can’t tell the difference, but audiophiles often reject those tests.


Again, a very silly thing.

Havard has a museum of anatomy. It has things like the skull of Phineas Gage, the man who survived a railroad spike going through his brain. Did Gage volunteer to have his head there? No. His physician donated it.

Why doesn’t Harvard care about those human remains getting a “final respectful disposition?” I’m guessing they’ll argue they have educational value and it’s okay to put human remains on display all the time rather than occasionally, even if the person whose remains they are did not volunteer their body parts to be displayed in a museum.

You don’t need technology to determine if that’s Phineas Gage’s skull. We know it is.

For me it’s the intentional and tactile experience of having to get up, put the platter on the turntable, and being able to look at the record while it’s playing. You get some of that with a CD, but it’s not the same.

I agree that the warmth thing is silly.

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There’s also some interesting things you can do with vinyl like locked grooves, probably most famously used at the end of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, but also brilliantly used in a Monty Python album where side 2 ends with a locked groove of Michael Palin saying, “oh sorry, squire. I scratched the record.” There’s another Monty Python record where it has two grooves on the same side and what you hear depends on where the needle lands.

And then, of course there were just the basic references to flipping a record over. ELO’s Mr. Blue Sky ends with the line “please turn me over.” There’s a Firesign Theater album where Nick Danger says, “wait a minute, didn’t I say that on the other side of the record?”

Records are cool, but I wouldn’t pay the prices they are charging now for new vinyl, even of classic stuff. If you want something classic you could pay upwards of $30 for it.

I got that when it came out and my mind was completely blown, as they intended.
The record is Matching Tie and Handkerchief, IIRC.


There’s a Tom Petty album where the CD has an extra track at the end of side A that says something to the effect of “pausing here while the people listening on a record turn it over”


Don’t forget the various techniques to hide tracks on CDs. Some are quite convoluted.


Hidden tracks are fun, but I think vinyl tricks were better.

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What, you didn’t want to reconstruct the two hidden tracks from the multitrack files on the DVD for Ghosts I-IV? Admittedly, it’s a DVD, not a CD, but the principle’s the same.

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Hidden tracks on Ghosts I-IV? Geez Trent, wasn’t 36 tracks enough?


I believe you’re right. And it did come with a matching tie and handkerchief.

There was a Cheech and Chong album that came with a giant rolling paper. I know someone who used it.



I particularly like this note about the installation’s placement:

The smiling face and sky-high pompadour of Lynch sits gleaming and glistening atop a plinth in the Santa Monica sun. That corner that once held a Norms and a Denny’s, two classic midcentury coffee shops that sometimes attracted a Lynchian crowd and served a damn fine cup of coffee.


On a more serious note, I do like that Santa Monica requires people doing new construction to put 2% of the funding toward public art.


NASA tasked with creating a time zone for the moon


I saw that. Defining the zone is simple enough, it’s keeping it synchronized with time on Earth that’s the problem. That, and getting the rest of the international community to agree to it.

<mutter>Stupid Theory of General Relativity</mutter>

This is why Star Trek invented star dates, you know!

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