Podcast episode recomendation: RadioLab – The Ring and I

I listened to Radio Lab‘s episode “The Ring and I” over lunch today. It’s all about Wagner’s Ring Cycle and it was really in a lot of ways a completely eye opening listen.

I really like classical/orchestral music but I have a really hard time listening to opera. Actually, I seem to just naturally be pre-disposed to like instrumental music much more than vocal music but while I quite like A Capella music in my personal scale of appreciation of vocal music, opera is somewhere near the bottom. Because of that there is actually quite a bit of really big important pieces of music that I’ve never heard because I can’t quite seem to listen to it.

To put it more succinctly, I’ve never listened to or seen any of Wagner’s operas. I’ve certainly heard bits and pieces here and there but I’ve never listened to any of it in the proper context of the complete work and it’s not something that I’ve ever been particularly happy about but attempts to rectify the situation did not succeed for a host of reasons.

I’ve really been enjoying listening to RadioLab since I heard it mentioned on an episode of This American Life and downloaded an episode. The content is exceedingly interesting and the presentation is amazingly similar to how it sounds in my head sometimes, if it had that much of an audio component anyway. The show’s focus is usually about science, or at least science related topics, so to get a podcast episode that was all about a very particular piece of art was interesting in and off itself.

Now I still haven’t heard or seen any of Wagner’s operas, but I really feel like I understand it a lot better. To be able to bridge that gap and condense such a work into a comprehensible and digestible work is honestly a piece of art in and off itself and really has to be heard to be believed. Amazing work and highly recommended for anyone.


You know, I’m amazed at how much news there is out there. I mean, when you really think about it.

From the guy who skunked me at one game of cribbage during lunch, and won the next fairly handily.

L-Space Login Quotes

The following is the contents of the login quote file from L-Space:


this is a test!


Oh dear..It’s the brain again…Will someone kindly beat me senseless?


And then there was…. well, something resembling a great big mess.


BBC Reporter talking about the Middle East conflict: “The Lesban..Libbanese…Lesbian Millitant….Oh damn…Lebanese Millitant Group …. “

Laughing Buddha:

I don’t care if it’s free, I want a letter of apology written in blood!


If I have to read the word “embodiment” one more time I’m going to have to kill someone.


climb troll. er, wait. wrong universe.


If I could drag myself away from the computer, I’d wonder how wide mine is…


I have powedered history all across the front of my pink shirt.


This would work alot better if I would stop running into walls.


Do you really want a Troll doing a body-cavity search? Think about that.


You think they’re not going to recognize us when we’re moisturized?

Wil Wheaton:

It sure was strange to see something on Usenet about me that didn’t involve Klingon gang rape.


You can’t eat a solitaire game. Trust me, I’ve tried.


I can also do many things with my feet that I can do with with my hands.

1880’s Tobogganing Etiquette Printed in a St Paul paper for the Winter Carnival:

6. When steering it is unadvisable to seek to get extra purchase by planting your unemployed foot in the small of the back of the lady in front of you.


There’s nothing like a nice cup of hot, strong tea, with just a dab of cream and a lump or two of sugar…especially when it gets dumped into your lap.

MPR disc jockey John Zech:

For more on passive-agressive monarchs, and their enabling composers…


I beat the internet. The end guy was hard.


I have your laptop and a full bladder…


I ran out of gluons and fell apart


well, you start out reading those innocent little piers anthony books. then before you know it you have a collection of water-proof erotica.


Also, some words of advice: never put words into Google you aren’t prepared to see results for.


i need either a vacation or a chainsaw. oh, decisions decisions…


It’s time for the adventures of Lars Mitsuison; North Woods Ninja: Off of 35W North, outside of Brainerd, lies the mysterious Falling Lotus Petal Temple and Coffee Shop, secret home of the Moose Clan: a sect of Ninja dedicated to the principals of Honor, Justice, and Ice Fishing. The temple founded by Tokuzo Minowara-san, who meditated long and attained enlightenment on the Eternal Question: ‘Cold enough for you?’ Tokuzo had trained in the ancient art of the Ninja, but got a job as a fry-chef in a diner in Minnesota We join Lars, a young acolyte of the temple, who sits in meditation after the lunch-rush

Dara Moskowitz [CityPages.com, Dish article from 3/12/2003]:

Failed! The way an entire year’s worth of Harvey Wallbangers have failed to erase the memory of that unfortunate incident in Karachi with the fan dancer and the locomotive. Failed!


Immortality doesn’t disturb me any more than flying pink unicorns with pez dispensers for horns do.

from System Performance Tuning, by O’Reilly:

If a process tries to write to a shared page, it incurs a copy-on-write fault.[5]
5. Often called a COW fault; not to be confused with a ruminant falling into a chasm.

mainsail and jenx:

‘Um, but what if I’m a helicopter? Or a tea pot?’ ‘It means you’re short and stout, here is your handle, here is your spout. It also means that you’ll be experiencing continuous light to moderate chop from FL280 to FL410 for the next 300 miles.’

kallisti, watching yet another depressurization scene in Total Recall:

What, is the dome made out the of saran wrap?


People are not good food. People are not good food. Eating smokers is bad for you. People are not good food. People are not good food. Eating smokers is bad for you. People are not good food. People are not good food. Eating smokers is bad for you.

Dara Moskiwitz, referring to the Minneapolis neighborhood:

If Seward had the nation’s largest per-capita consumption of hemp soap, no one would be at all surprised.


Such a beautiful day…not a cloud in the sky, the sun is shining…the frozen thump of the birds falling out of the trees and shattering on the sidewalk…


This is where cultivating a sharp elbow and an unerring sense of rib comes in handy.


I’m not sure if that was a meeting or an experience of listening to someone recite the results of MadLibs using only technical terms.

Broog, Alien Film critic:

The mighty cinematic edifice which is the human Jackson’s rendering of Tolkien’s classic novel grinds to its imperial conclusion in the third film, “Lord of the Rings: The Fat Jolly Hobbit Saves Middle Earth And Everyone Is Nice To His Whiny Friend”.

Laughing Buddha:

no more perogis before bed.


We’ve always had this skill back into the mists of time in my family. It can be a burden sometimes. Like when I dreamt that I was stranded on a tropical island with the Olympic Naughty Pleasuring Team, and sure enough, the very next day I found an unopened jar of guava jelly in the fridge.

One Windswept Rose:

The problem with being IS and saying “we don’t have time/resources to do this” is that people will do it anyway.

Pretend, for a moment, that the database and server resources you should be using is the I94 bridge over the Mississippi – many lanes, fast speed limit, well monitored and patrolled. A truckload of widgets goes across easily and smoothly, usually.

Now, take away the truck & the bridge, but they still want to move the widgets. They’ll take what they can find “Oh, hey, there’s this cable across the river in front of the dam no one is using – if we train a hundred monkey’s to carry a widget each and put them in relays running up and down the river bank carrying widgets across for us, we can do the whole project w/o needing any IS funding. Cool!”

The problems now are:
1) Dead monkeys and widgets blocking the hydroelectric intake.
2) Barge captains running into the lock doors because they got distracted by BoBo.
3) Riverbank erosion and plant damage from widget laden monkeys
4) Large monkey breeding farms smell bad
5) We’ve already upgraded from small monkeys to large (Gorilla), monkeys are still not as good as trucks for carrying widgets


What ensued was probably the kitty version of the 4th ring to Hell (the 7th being an underwater dog park)…


If I call in air support, and they send me penguins, and those penguins hit what I really need them to, I will buy those penguins a drink. I will not quibble.


Bush takes XTC, goes to rave
New York Times – 12 hours ago
“He was jumping around, blowing a whistle, and kept asking me if I had any chewy,” says Alison, 19, who danced with the President and his team of advisors at an unnamed club until 4am. “Rumsfeld gave me a kick-ass back rub.”

Sedna Information Page:

We use a 172 Megapixel camera mounted on a robotic telescope to find these things.

One Windswept Rose:

Well, actually, it’s a work-safe splash-screen right now, you need to click through to get to anything Janet Jacksonesque.


I have a soft spot for Land Yachts. I used to drive my mom’s 1970 Chrystler New Yorker (affectionately named “Tank”)…it could easily fit at least 6, plus trunk space sufficient to garage a small car. Definitely a rolling livingroom. And fun to drive. In an Abrams sort of way.


There are only so many directions I wanna see my naked white ass from.


feet are like cleavage, only… er, wait, no. they’re not.


Bacon is a vegetable.


I have a trebuchet budget?!?! What great news!

Weird Al Yankovic, “Nature Trail To Hell” from the album “In 3-D”:

If you love the 6 o’clock news
then you’ll love
Nature Trail To Hell!
Nature Trail To Hell!
Nature Trail To Hell!
In 3-D!


You programmer. Me writer.

Two Lumps as posted by Asher:



I vote we go lick their babies.


It wouldn’t be so boring if you took my advice and lowered it, threw some fatties on it, dual dump pipes, neons, fake blower and brake scoops, and a honkin bigass spoiler. And did an 80% tint on the windshield, and added a megabass sound system. Sure, it would handle like a pregnant water buffalo on a lowered skateboard with fatties, but hey, it wouldn’t be so boring.


No, ‘The Madness of King George III’ is not a sequal.

Pied Piper:

You loved the adventure of “The Madness of King George”!!
You couldn’t get enough of “The Madness of King George – Part II”!!
Now, Miramax brings the thrills, the mayham, the excitement that is:

The Madness of King George III

Just when you thought he was down for the Count,
he’s back…and badder than ever…

(cue music: Mark Morrison – Return of the Mack)

He’s out for justice…he’s out for revenge…
he’s ready to fight for his honor, his crown,
and his rule over the Americas…

He’ll risk everything, even his sanity, to get what he wants…
It’s the Return of the King as you’ve never seen him before…

The Action…the Intrigue…the Romance…

Don’t Miss the Thrilling Saga of King George


The Madness of King George III

Rated R
Under 17 not admitted without parrots
Void where inhibited


Nothing says teh sexay like being covered in jet black velvet… oh, and lots of multi-hued cat fur.


taking personal responsibility for my orgasms so often leads to being pursued through the jungle by a t-rex. *sigh* ah the perils of modern life.


That’s the thing that gets me. Saying that dinosaurs walked the earth 6,000 years ago is such an eyeblink in the REAL LIVE ACTUAL timeframe of evolution that it is the same as saying, look out, over there, it’s a velocoraptor crossing Rockefeller Plaza. Oops. There goes Katie Couric. Pity.


beaners might be in love, but chelsea might be in the kind of love that a person has for their dinner.


While I was growing up, Velveeta was the unapproachable father figure – elusive, and absent. Softer than it looked, it definitely had it’s “yin” side. But it was never to be found. So I grew up without proper guidance, and got into a lot of troubles with a bunch of Kraft American Singles.

Okay, this is the last time I take a daily poll at quarter to three in the morning.


Great Moments from The Evolution of the Orgasm #327: ‘Thag go all funny there for moment.’


Theoretically how much porn could you store on a fish?


had i known, i could have given crap by proxy!


cause nothing says christmas like shaving a dwarf.


what, all that work and jesus gets to be a bellhop?

from RFC4041: Requirements for Morality Sections in Routing Area Drafts:

The key words “SHALT”, “SHALT NOT”, “SMITE”, and “PILLAR OF SALT” in this document are to be interpreted as expected.

Car Talk Listener:

Driving a Mustang ranks right up there with sleeping in a double bed.


That’s like saying you didn’t invent the plague, you just spread it.

Chilly Willy:

Wait until you see the telescoping crucifix with blinking colored lights… you’ll be hooked!


Oh dear God, they’ve discovered random punctuation to go with random lettering. Any minute now, they’re going to bust out the umlauts and I’ve going to go into hiding.


Vanna White is getting her star on the Walk of Fame next week. What I wanna know is, will it light up when people touch it?

Passion Orange: Suprisingly good

I tried the White Rock Organics Passion Orange today at lunch and was really very pleasantly surprised. It’s not as sweet as the very good Red Peach, which in turn is not as sweet as the horrible Raspberry Creme. I do have to admit that the initial flavor was sort of odd, but the finish and subsequent sips showed it to be a very well put together flavor. Some nicely sour passion fruit notes with the barest orange/citrus is an unexpectedly combination and the lack of over-the-top sugar makes for a really excellent soda.