The earth sings

Mark Morford, at SFGate, in April, wrote a lyrical, powerful piece about music the Earth itself is generating: “In other words, you love loud punk? Metal? Jazz? Deep house? Saint-Saens with a glass of Pinot in the tub? Sure you do. That’s because somewhere, somehow, deep in your very cells and bones and DNA, it links you back to source, to the Earth’s own vibration, the pulse of the cosmos. Oh yes it does. To tap your foot and sway your body to that weird new Portishead tune is, in effect, to sway it to the roar of the universe. I mean, obviously.”

As he mentions, scientists have been debating the source (or sources) of the ‘hum’ for a long time, a sampling: (2000): Source of Earth’s Hum Revealed, Space Symphony Possible (Inaudible sound waves in the lower atmosphere that push and pull on the ground).

NPR: Detecting the Earth’s Hum for What It Is (it comes from the globe’s largest oceans during winter, apparently the result of powerful winter storms)

New Scientist (2007): Earth’s hum linked to coastal waves

LiveScience: Earth’s Hum Sounds More Mysterious Than Ever (might be caused by forces shearing across the world’s surface, from the oceans, atmosphere or possibly even the sun)

Mark Morford says this is the kind of thing, in our day to day driven world, we don’t take a moment to stop and ponder: “This is the kind of thing that, given all our distractions, our celeb obsessions and happy drugs and bothersome trifles like family and bills and war and health care and sex and love and porn and breathing and death, tends to fly under the radar of your overspanked consciousness, only to be later rediscovered and brought forth and placed directly in front of your eyeballs, at least for a moment, so you can look, really look, and go, oh my God, I had no idea.”

He’s right. My friends shake their heads at me sometimes and tease me for being a bit of a “hippie” for pondering this stuff. But it’s these kinds of mysteries that take my heart to flight, sing to me, and lighten my step as I think about the wonderful world we live in.

Mac Keyboard Shortcuts

Dan Rodney has a great list of OS-X shortcut keys, including the (to these Windows learned eyes) foreign menu symbols that can be so confusing at first glance: Mac Central.

George Carlin wouldn’t want the eulogies

But they will be unavoidable today. So all I will say is when I get home tonight from work, I’m going to have a good drink in his name.

You made us laugh. And think. At the same time.

We’ll miss you George.

Not all of us, but that is as it should be, how you preferred it, and that is why you left an impression on so many.

Metafilter: George Carlin Dead at 71

In my thoughts

Doc Searls has been blogging from the hospital these past few days and its been at times frightening and at times heartening to follow as each days up and downs are shared. Doctors have found three pancreatic cysts, but should be on his way home soon.

Welcome Back Shelley Powers

Shelley Powers is blogging about her latest book at Painting the Web, about all things society and tech at RealTech, on personal matters at Just Shelley, and about Missouri at MissouriGreen Her latest posts at MissouriGreen are covering the sandbagging efforts she has been taking part in and have been harrowing.

The news coverage of the weather and floods has been spotty at best. I’d like to urge folks to donate to the Red Cross (probably what Richelle and me will do this week) but I don’t know if that’s the best route to help for those of us so distant and disconnected.

Two Interesting Visualizations

Boing Boing: Death and Taxes, and a Boing Boing story


Back Surgery in Philadelphia – To Do It Or Not

So much conflicting research!

ABC News: Back Surgery Can Quickly Relieve Pain Back Pain Often Ends Without Surgery

Two links on content management

Advogato: Advogato: The Myth that Content Management is easy

Rajiv Pant (my old boss at KRD): Future of Content Management for News Media for Web sites


Artima: The Importance of Model-View Separation

The single most important skill for a software engineer

“How to Think Like a Computer Scientist: Learning with Python”:

The goal of this book is to teach you to think like a computer scientist. This way of thinking combines some of the best features of mathematics, engineering, and natu- ral science. Like mathematicians, computer scientists use formal languages to denote ideas (specifically computations). Like engineers, they design things, assembling components into systems and evaluating tradeoffs among alternatives. Like scientists, they observe the behavior of complex systems, form hypotheses, and test predictions. The single most important skill for a computer scientist is problem solving. Problem solving means the ability to formulate problems, think creatively about solutions, and express a solution clearly and accurately. As it turns out, the process of learning to program is an excellent opportunity to practice problem-solving skills.

Two from Yahoo!

Webmonkey: Get Started With the Yahoo HTTP Geocoder API

Yahoo! User Interface Blog: Patterns for Designing a Reputation System and more at their Design Pattern Library.