Ed’s Weblog

…now my real blog

Archive for March, 2006

Not my real blog

Posted by Ed on March 30, 2006

This is not my real blog, but I am grateful to Automattic for providing it nonetheless. I registered this in order to get a WordPress.com API key, which allows me to block spam on my real blog using Akismet.

My real blog is located at http://echadwick.net.

Update: This is my real blog now.

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Posted in Blogging | Leave a Comment »

Film Festival

Posted by Ed on March 26, 2006

So, that was it then. The last ten days or so have been filled by the 30th Cleveland International Film Festival. It was an amazing few days and my hat goes off to the organisers for their excellent choice of films as well as the day-to-day running of the festival. I saw about half a dozen of the very many films on offer, and they were mostly very good.

Of particular note was Portrait of a Lady Faraway, from Iran. A young woman rolls the dice, and dials the numbers that come up to ask for help. The night-long journey that follows takes a man back through his difficult past in a (sometimes confusing) mix of memory, dreams, fantasy and reality. The story is compelling, though, and the performances and cinematography are excellent.

My favourite film of the festival though was Tapas, from Spain, about the intertwined lives of a group of people surrounding a Tapas bar. It was moving, intriguing, funny and unsentimental. Highly recommended.

Posted in Cleveland, Film | Leave a Comment »

Protest Photos

Posted by Ed on March 22, 2006

As promised, more pictures of the anti-war demo on Monday are now in my photo gallery.

Posted in Cleveland, Photography, Politics | Leave a Comment »

Anti-war Protest

Posted by Ed on March 20, 2006

Our revered leader, George Dubya, graced us with his presence in Cleveland today. Seems not everyone in the country is equally happy with the way things in Iraq are going, so he’s on tour talking things up a bit. Some of us tried to make him feel welcome. More photos later this week…

Posted in Cleveland, Politics | Leave a Comment »

Lest We Forget

Posted by Ed on March 19, 2006

A useful reminder on the 3rd anniversary of the start of the war on Iraq.

Posted in Politics | 1 Comment »

Patently absurd

Posted by Ed on March 19, 2006

This is so absurd, I had just had to post it. The New York Times is reporting today that a company has been granted a patent on the correlation between elevated homocysteine and vitamin B12 deficiency. That’s right, they’ve been granted a patent on the relationship between these factors, not just on a test or treatment for them. It is therefore illegal for me to publish that finding without paying royalties to the company.

Elevated homocysteine is linked to B-12 deficiency, so doctors should test homocysteine levels to see whether the patient needs vitamins.

Oops! Suppose the bastards’ll have to sue me now… Actually, it gets even wierder. According to the article:

A corporation has patented that fact, and demands a royalty for its use. Anyone who makes the fact public and encourages doctors to test for the condition and treat it can be sued for royalty fees. Any doctor who reads a patient’s test results and even thinks of vitamin deficiency infringes the patent. A federal circuit court held that mere thinking violates the patent.

Not quite sure how they’re going to enforce that one…

Posted in Science | Leave a Comment »

Pandora and the Music Genome

Posted by Ed on March 17, 2006

Recently, Charl got me hooked on the music and social networking site Last.fm, which plays music based on what people with similar tastes to you (your musical neighbours) have also played. Now Juan has introduced me to Pandora, and I’m hooked again! Pandora plays music similar to songs or artists you tell it you like, drawing its data from the Music Genome Project:

We ended up assembling literally hundreds of musical attributes or “genes” into a very large Music Genome. Taken together these genes capture the unique and magical musical identity of a song – everything from melody, harmony and rhythm, to instrumentation, orchestration, arrangement, lyrics, and of course the rich world of singing and vocal harmony.

The key difference betwee the sites is that Last.fm uses people’s tastes to assign to make suggestions, whereas Pandora uses only the qualities of the music taken from their analyses. For example, in Pandora, if you type in Steel Pulse, you hear:

music which features a reggae feel, acoustic rhythm piano, mixed acoustic and electric instrumentation, extensive vamping and minor key tonality.

You can listen to music similar to Steel Pulse at Pandora by clicking on this link: Steel Pulse Radio.

Both sites are extremely cool and have introduced me to things I would not otherwise have heard. They also give you personalised internet radio wherever you go!

Posted in Music, Web/Tech | Leave a Comment »

Open Source Radio

Posted by Ed on March 11, 2006

Browsing amongst the NPR podcasts on iTunes the other day, I stumbled across this little gem. Open Source Radio produces radio shows based on suggestions and input from the listeners via a blog. I’ve only listened to a few shows (its a full hour every day), but the quality has been surprisingly good. Recent shows have included Economic Hitmen, Civil War in Iraq?, and The al-Jazeera Effect. The shows have featured well-informed guests and have been very well balanced. Subscribe to it in iTunes here.

Every time we agree on a new idea that we think can sustain a full hour of talking, we post it to the blog. Usually this is just a paragraph — a piece of truth and two unanswered questions — to help us as we frantically call and Google around to find the people who talk well and have something to say.

Posted in Media, Politics | Leave a Comment »