Tuesday, January 30, 2007

NYC World Class

A fact that did not surprise me: the "urban agglomeration" that is constituted by New York City, Newark, and the surrounding suburbs constitutes the largest (by population) such unit in the United States. That neato list shows that in 2005, according to the U.N., the NYC-Newark urban agglomeration held 18 million 718 living breathing peoples. That beats the Los Angeles-some beach-some other beach combo by around 6 million. But what did surprise me: Mumbai, the largest such agglomeration in India, slacks back by around 600k. Now, figuring that was only in 2005, Mumbai grows at about 1% faster rate than does New York, it will probably flip soon; the UN says that by 2010 Mumbai will be way ahead. And besides, no one can pack 'em in ,like the Nipponese - Tokyo rocks 35 mil plus! Domo arigato!

The full summary on mega-cities (pdf) is telling, but there are of course many factors I'm presently to tired to look at. New York does drop over time though, and I am kind of uncertain as to my acceptance of Newark in the "agglomeration". Then again, I work there with two other New Yorkers. Hmm.

Thursday, January 18, 2007


as i let copernic index my tablet, i thought "why not see if there is anything more out there about fuckintosh?"

And guess what?

there ain't.

This is a shame - this twisted mash up madness is sometimes sublime.

The name alone - Fuckintosh (aka Codek's Fa Ventilato) - was enough to draw me in, and the photocopied covers added to the mystique. When I saw "Kraftwerk vs. the Beatles", and for $9.99, I knew I was in for something...

Currently, I have said album streaming forth...and it is just ridiculous. I can barely place some of the tones, but they usually flow together just beautifully - the machine-melody rhythms of Kraftwerk are laid under unnervingly fun chops of Beatles riffs, snippets of a lyric, or perhaps even just a sound. And sometimes I simply can't tell what is from who, or if he's actually got both going on or not...but it barely matters. Track 7 (none of the black disc's tracks bear titles) is a repetition of a gently strummed guitar and bass line, with some tom and snare patches - and a grating hvac sound coming in and out, beautifully punctuating the smoothness of the beatles clip. it's like floating through a chaotic parking lot in a glowing translucent marshmallow cocoon..until the robotic tendrils tear your soft little coffin apart at the very end and make you part and parcel a piece of the machine. Stunning. and then into a repeating "ju-ju" from the beginning of "come together".

Found it at other music and returned this week for "Criminal Edits" - also quite good, but only got one or two listens before the office monster swallowed it whole and spat it out into a permanent memory hole somewhere under my desk. Bastard.

But now it's "Blackbird" distorted over a smoothly shiny driving beat...track 10, possibly my favorite of this disc.

Recommended if you can find it - he has a a list of stores on his label's site - Killing Music At Home

Monday, January 15, 2007

Israel-Syria "Understanding"

This looks like something which - if carried through to its purported ends - could have tremendous implications for the state of the Middle East (and hence the world):

In-Depth Haaretz coverage

Hopefully, the fact that it is being covered in a major news outlet is a sign that the parties are carrying on to the next level and making it official, and it will not collapse as a result of the exposure. The last few paragraphs are not entirely encouraging - it seems that Israel is not yet willing to officially acknowledge any talks, and Syria is still in a "demand" mode. The nature of the Golan transfer is also somewhat suspect - would Israel be willing to transfer this flashpoint area for water control and "parkland"? According to the disputed Wikipedia page, there are more Jewish settlers than indigenous Druze residents. However, the Syrian concessions - withdrawal of support from Hezbollah and Hamas, along with distancing from Iran - are remarkable and even hard to believe. If this were not coming from Israel's paper of record, I would have some trouble accepting its veracity.

Interestingly, originally saw this on Newsvine here, which is an AP report. No American or British outlets seem to be reporting it as of 1:50 AM EST.

Also - what is going to be the upshot of Rice being in the region?

The Nano Shuffle

In a brilliant display of its "shuffle" feature (I'll call it pseudo-random pattern detector, aka "iThink"), my nano treated me to, in succession, The Shangri-Las with "Give Him a Great Big Kiss" followed by The New York Dolls' "Looking for a Kiss". Both open with the line, "When I say I'm in love, you best believe I'm in love, L-U-V". A fave topic of caricature dorks like Levy (who writes a fine piece) and blogs galore. My thought is, consistent with Apple's tendency to paternalize, the iPhone will also have predictive random features, such as automated calling based on frequency, auto-iTunes shop purchases, and pre-crime prevention alert software. Yippee.