Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Music! Science! Music about science!

Since one of their songs popped up on Pandora.com, I've been a fan of the band Artichoke.

Their masterpiece is a two-volume CD set called "Twenty-Six Scientists (Anning - Zeno"). It's a collection of musical biographies of scientists both famous and obscure. Each song is different and each song is great. I just got volume two in the mail last week and I'm still listening to it. If you, or someone you know is a scientist or just likes science, you really need this.

To introduce you to the band, and in honor of the upcoming Carl Sagan Day, here's a biography of one of the most famous astronomers of all time

Galileo Galilei

It is the only bad thing about the albums: no Carl Sagan song. Ah well. They've also got a fabulous "kids" album called "26 Animals". Scientifically accurate and damned catchy, it's an album that you wouldn't mind your kids playing over and over.

Listening to while posting: "vulture" by Artichoke

Monday, November 2, 2009

Post Halloween

The Horror Movie Mini-Fest was a moderate success. Booze and conversation flowed freely and much food and candy were consumed.

KickEnemyMen came up from Maine and stopped in Burlington to visit his childhood friend YogaGirl. He knew we'd want her to come (but would forget to ask her), so he brought her along. Step-Brother-in-Law came with his two puppies (well, young dogs) Kermit and Thumper. We love them, but the cat was... unimpressed. Cranky J, his wife R and little daughter Starbuck (hee!) made a surprise visit and Cranky was happy that he got to see me tipsy.

AndreZero and ScienceGirl came, too. It was going to be a bit of fun because ScienceGirl hates the portrayal of scientists in film and one of the films I got was the fabulous "I'll show them all!"-type scientist film "X- the Man with the X-Ray Eyes".

Also to be had were "THEM!" (still a pretty good film despite the effects. The girl whose family was the fist to die by THEM! was still extraordinarily creepy) and "The Incredible Shrinking Man" (not bad either. The effects are not astounding, but you can still feel that they were astounding in the day. The only bad thing was the soliloquy tacked onto the end; but the continuity of the light of the moon shining on the shrinking man was nicely done).

Cranky J, R and Starbuck left just after THEM! as did AndreZero and ScienceGirl (who had to be in the lab the next day). X went in next, but the disc started randomly pausing, so in went TISM. Overall, lots of basic enjoyment of the movie with some ROTFL MST3k moments.

SBiL introduced us all to a drink that is, in a way, like disc golf: it sounds stupid in description, but in reality is a kind of awesome. The drink is a bottle of Guinness in a glass with a shot of butterscotch schnapps. No, really! It is a kind of awesome and a truly great winter drink.

We all stayed up late sobering up. YogaGirl headed home around midnight and then we all hit the rack (SE, the cat and I in our bed, KickEnemyMen on the library futon and SBiL and the puppies on our living room futon). In the morning, all four of us walked down to the local breakfast place, The Flour Shop for the kind of breakfast that keeps you going until about two in the afternoon.

After that, SE had to do some art errands, so KEM and I met YogaGirl in Burlington and we walked around for to or three hours. KEM is a geocacher and we tried to do some finding, but we were 0 for six; who puts urban caches without hints? Sheesh! YG and KEM said goodbye, then back to our house to pack KEM up.

KEM's visits were always short, but I got to give him a cool birthday present: A big bottle of VERY good stout and a VERY tasty bleu cheese (a combo I tried at a beer and cheese pairing at our local natural food store ).

Whew! So a great weekend.

To finish off the party post, here's a shot of SBiL not quite enjoying X with Thumper. She is the cutest Lab mix ever:

Also, last night I posted an update to Death of a Friend!

Listening to while posting: "Zeno of Elea (490bc - 430bc)" by Artichoke