“Rick and Morty” does “The State of Georgia v. Denver Fenton Allen”

 Comedy, Journalism, TV, Video  Comments Off on “Rick and Morty” does “The State of Georgia v. Denver Fenton Allen”
Jul 272016
 

This is pretty great.  This video from Comic-Con is Justin Roiland from Adult Swim series “Rick and Morty” reading an insane courtroom transcript from a June 2016 Georgia murder trial, word-for-word, in the voices of characters Rick and Morty (with minimal animation added).  For more info see these posts from College Humor and slashfilm.com.  If you’re not familiar with the show, scroll-down and check out the opening scene from episode 1 first.

Wu-Tang Clan – Triumph

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Jul 232016
 

This just in, police are reporting that there’s a man on top of a skyscraper ready to jump.  I’m told that he is possibly “Ol’ Dirty”, a member of the Wu-Tang Clan.  The police suspect that there could be some connection between this “old dirty man” and the killer bees.

 

ol dirty 2

Hugh Herr’s bionic legs

 Tech, Video  Comments Off on Hugh Herr’s bionic legs
Jul 162016
 

Watching these in action is surreal.  The panning-shot at 5:00 is feels like science-fiction: the sheer ease and grace of his stride’s almost spooky.  After losing his lower-legs to frostbite, Herr started developing simple prosthetics so he could resume rock-climbing.  Then he started adding computers and actuators into the mix.  The current generation senses nerve impulses and intelligently mimics a biological limb to such an extent that little training or acclimation is required.

Kuromukuro

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Jul 152016
 

Netflix started producing their own anime, and apparently somebody was a big Evangelion fan.   The Lord giveth and taketh away – mostly the latter in my experience – but sometimes he is kind…

Password Cracking – Computerphile

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Jul 142016
 

Excellent 20-minute explanation of password strength for both the general audience and the more tech-saavy user.  Dr. Mike Pound demonstrates password cracking using hashcat – the example scenario is that an online service liked LinkedIn is hacked and the user credentials are stolen (which happens not uncommonly).  No company would store those credentials in “plaintext” – they’ve been encrypted via a one-way hashing algorithm (for the purposes of this video it’s MD5, which is outdated and quite weak).

 

He shows brute-force and dictionary attacks and the affects of increasing password length and complexity.  He also explains how substitutions (eg. “N3wy0rk”) are easily defeated by simple rulesets.

House of Five Leaves

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Jun 272016
 

Great anime series: stylish as hell, slow-burn, and morally ambiguous as all get-out.

 

The main reason this series really gets to me is its protagonist, Masanosuke.  And just to get this out of the way, he’s an Edo-period ronin.  If that doesn’t ring any bells for you, it means a wandering (or masterless) samurai.  If it does, then you know this concept’s been strip-mined so thoroughly that you already want to stop reading this.  However, this particular ronin has a “problem with his personality”- and it’s not that he’s a stolid loner whose lust for battle explosively manifests at convenient plot points.  Instead, he has a classic case of what we now refer to as Social Anxiety.  Which doesn’t mean he’s a coward or he can’t kick-ass; it just means no one will hire him for honest work.

 

That’s half of the reason why he falls-in with a group of criminals, the “House of Five Leaves”.  The other half is that its leader, Yaichi, has a pathological obsession with kidnapping, and Masanosuke reminds him of someone from his past.  It’s all explained in due time.

 

This is one of those short, sweet deals with a perfect ending, and I mean perfect.  It’ll rip your fucking guts out, not because someone you like dies – nothing so crude as that – it’s far more subtle, but if you get there, you’ll know what I’m talking about.  It’s almost as good as the end of The Shield, maybe as good, though it’s an apples-and-oranges thing, since House of Five Leaves is 12 episodes, whereas The Shield is 88.

 

 

Miles Davis and Kurt Cobain

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Jun 212016
 

Miles Davis’s later style feels a lot like that of Kurt Cobain to me.  It’s a weird comparison to be sure, but both had this uncannily similar tendency to step back (or may be aside) from the purely technical.

 

When I was much younger and first listened to both these tracks, my first impression was they were both making mistakes.  Poor Miles, I thought – doing pop covers and flubbing notes.  Whereas I just assumed Cobain was just under the influence.  But if you had put a gun to my young, empty head, I’d have said they both sounded pretty damn good.  I couldn’t have said why though.  Now I can.

 

There’s something about those “mistakes” that’s a little too intentional.  Not in the sense that Kurt intended those two strums on the downbeat of 2:08 to be flat: he didn’t practice them exactly like that 100 times to get them like that.  There’s no sheet music where his voice breaks a little at point x.  And Miles didn’t plan to be a little slow on his fingering at 2:14 so that the transition from one note to the next would be a messy combination of the wrong set of valves being open simultaneously for an instant.  If a beginner did that during a lesson, you’d have them slow it down and try again.  But when he does it, right at that moment, after all those pure golden tones, it adds something, like that one little rock in a zen garden that’s so obviously out-of-place that you feel like maybe the whole thing was the result of natural phenomena.

 

They both played a little loose, in the way that only a truly accomplished artist can pull-off.  They could ride the edge of chaos just enough to make a performance a living, breathing thing.  It’s far harder than it sounds.  But it sounds pretty damn good.