Darren Barefoot
Darren Barefoot


Thinking Chaos, Thinking Fences

This is for those who descend into the code
and make their room a fridge for Superman

August 19, 2003

All right, Vancouver readers, I'm putting you to work. We're hosting an event next month for, I don't know, 60 people, and we need a caterer. We're just looking for appetizers here, not a dinner service. Here's everything I currently know about choosing a caterer:

<click me>

See my problem? Google can come to the rescue, but I'm looking for recommendations for local service providers. Leave a comment if you know anybody good.

10:38:06 AM  Permanent link to this entry    Trackback []    Mixed Bag Vancouver

This article describes how it's increasingly difficult for studios to 'buy their gross'--that is, to throw big advertising dollars at a film to ensure a big opening weekend. Opening weekend numbers, incidentally, are critically important to perceptions of a film's success. What's changed? Technology. E-mail, the cell phone, IM--they all make it easier for consumers to virally distribute a good or (more often) bad review of a film that has just opened. This was the most interesting fact in the article:

Widely released movies this summer dropped off an average of 51% between their first weekend and their second, according to Nielsen EDI Inc., a box office tracking firm. Five years ago, the drop-off averaged 40.1%.

Of course, that may reflect the increasing crappiness of summer blockbusters, but that's neither here nor there. Here's an interesting chart of the biggest second weekend drops in modern cinema history. I was surprised to see Mallrats, Star Trek: Nemesis and Hulk on that list.

10:27:31 AM  Permanent link to this entry    Trackback []    Movies Technology

This is bizarre, but strangely compelling:

All those stations, playing all that music, all the time! There's at least 40 different songs being played every week on most radio stations! Who has enough time in the day to listen to them all? That's why we've set up banks of computers to do the listening for us. They know what you really want to hear. They're trading variety for variance.

Eigenradio plays only the most important frequencies, only the beats with the highest entropy. If you took a bunch of music and asked it, "Music, what are you, really?" you'd hear Eigenradio singing back at you. When you're tuned in to Eigenradio, you always know that you're hearing the latest, rawest, most statistically separable thing you can possibly put in your ear.

Those kooky guys at MIT! What's next: optimized television? Actually, the soundscape that this project creates reminded me of the sound design in the opening moments of Contact, as we zoom in on earth from a galactic (universal?) scale.

10:19:20 AM  Permanent link to this entry    Trackback []    Technology The Arts

So the fire alarm wakes you up at 3:00 am. You lie there as it thunders away outside your door. 'It's probably just a false alarm', you think, 'they're always false alarms.' Plus, the bed is pretty comfy. Then you think, 'hmmm, it'd be pretty stupid to die because I was too lazy to heed the really-alarming alarm.'

So, you get up and start walking down the stairs. You live on the twenty-fifth floor, and you breath a microscopic sigh of relief when you pass the twelfth floor, and know that now the firetrucks' ladders can reach you.

The cruelest cut comes when you the alarm stops on the fifth floor. Experience has taught you that the elevators take a long time to reset after a fire alarm. So, the only option is to climb the 20 stories back to your bed.

10:14:12 AM  Permanent link to this entry    Trackback []    Mixed Bag