The toy has two parts, a plastic collar tag that contains a sound and motion sensor and a USB receiver that you plug into your computer. The tag comes with pre-written, prerecorded tweets that are activated by your dog's activity. So if she's sleeping, the tag may automatically send the tweet, "Somedays it feels like my paw is permanently on the snooze button!" If she's woofing, the tweet may say, "YAHOOOOOOO! Somedays you just gotta get your bark on."
I watched an interesting documentary last night. Copyright Criminals looks at "sampling" in Hip Hop. I don't know anything about Rap or Hip Hop but I found the legal mess interesting. I'm of two minds (what else is new?) the song that has samples in it is a different song but they use parts of other recordings to make it so some credit (payment?) should go to the original artists.
One of the people in the documentary commented that hip hop artists would have to pay for anything taken from somewhere else even if it was only a second. It is legally necessary to get "sample clearances" for each sample used. James Brown's famous "Huh!" was the example he gave. Someone else said that someone paid $100,000 for two seconds of Marvin Gaye. It's cheaper to cover a song than it is to sample one.
The money doesn't always go to the artists. Clyde Stubblefield, James Brown's drummer in the mid-60s) is supposedly the most sampled musician but he hasn't received a penny because he doesn't own the rights to the music. He was paid for his time in the studio. Sometimes the record's producer has right to the music and money from sampling clearances goes to the producer and not the artist.
A good point on the pro free sampling side is to consider when a photographer takes a picture and then a painter paints a picture from it. The painting is considered a separate work of art.
The above painting by Andy Warhol was based on a publicity photo from the film Niagara. I doubt Warhol paid anything for the use of the photo. If he had the money would have gone to the studio and not the studio's photographer or to Marilyn's estate.
Writers are allowed to quote small pieces from works by other authors without permission as long as the original author is credited. To use a large (more than 4 lines) piece of another authors work the writer would have to get the author's written permission.
I'm thinking the same thing should work for music. If it's just a few seconds everyone should just let it slide. If the sample is large then money (and credit in the liner notes) should go to the original artist.
There is a difference between a "huh!" on a record and having large parts of another song as the basis of the new song. I can think of two songs that went too far Ice Ice Baby by Vanilla Ice and U Can't Touch This by MC Hammer.
The MC Hammer song sampled the main riff from Rick James' Super Freak Vanilla Ice took a huge chunk out of Under Pressure by Queen & David Bowie. Anyone who knew the original songs could tell right away that whole chunks were used in the other songs.
So did Hammer and Ice really write new songs? Should there be a percentage of notes that must be original in order to have a song considered a new entity? Or is using old sounds in an original way enough?
I think it will take a long time before this particular problem is figured out. Don't even get me started on mixtapes.
If you're reading this then you survived another Christmas Day. Good on ya. I managed to cook steaks to a lovely medium rare and open a bottle of champagne without loss of life or limb. Or property damage. Dinner was my now traditional Xmas Nachos. All in all I'm quite content with how the day went. I am currently contemplating going through my closets and boxing up all the clothes I don't (or can't) wear and donating them to charity. It is Boxing Day and I am in the mood to give onto others. I'm also in the mood to purge.
Yesterday I got a tweet that sent me on a journey that was quite inspirational. Brian J. Smith who plays Matthew Scott on Stargate: Universe posted a link to the following video:
I like classical music. Don't listen to it enough any more. I'm particularly fond of Ludwig from the beet farm. There are times when I end up sobbing while listening to the Moonlight Sonata. I feel both exhilarated and sad when I hear the "Ode to Joy". To me Mozart's music is always saying "look what I can do." and Beethoven's says "This is how I feel."
What a person "gets" from music of any kind is unique for each person. Our experiences, feelings, background and culture all play a part in whether or not we like a piece of music. That leads me to another video I found after watching the one above:
Yes it is a bit long but well worth the time. I'd never hear of Evelyn Gleenie before but now I think she's just amazing. I had no idea she was deaf until she mentioned it. Just amazing. I think she is right that we all experience sound in many ways, not just with our ears. Thinking about it now I feel that our ears are just the easiest way to listen to sounds.
After the Evelyn Glennie video I started watching more videos from TED. I was especially impressed by Mae Jamison's talk about connecting the arts and sciences. I wish I hadn't been labeled as "artistic" or "imaginative" when I was a kid. I'm sure all my teachers expected me to do something creative (writing) as opposed to important (cancer research).
I'll bet you didn't know that Billy Idol made a Christmas album. I was quite surprised when I stumbled upon it last year. I really like Yellin' at the Christmas Tree. Some of the other songs are a bit too smarmy for my taste. I guess if you have to listen to Xmas music you should listen to something that give you a laugh.
Anyone who follows me on Twitter knows that I have a soft spot for animals. I will retweet every tweet that asks for someone to adopt an animal before the shelter kills it. I will support any cause that takes care of the animals man has mistreated or abandoned. I will stand up against any agency that kills an animal in its care before every avenue to save it is tried.
I love animals. I also eat meat. I don't find a contradiction in that. I don't like seeing images of thousands of chickens that live their lives in crowded cages. I don't want to see how cows and pigs are slaughtered. I'm not stupid I know that an animal had to die for me to have a burger. I don't have a problem with hunting either as long as it's not for "fun". My rule of thumb is "kill what you eat and eat what you kill".
What would happen if we all stopped eating meat? We'd have a an animal population problem in a manner of months. We'd have to sterilize most of the animals or they'd eat us into extinction. And who would look after all the animals? It's hard enough to get people to be responsible for dogs and cats. I can't see people stepping up and helping out that pig who no longer has a farmer to feed him.
I try to eat free range and drug free animal products whenever I can. I eat wild salmon as apposed to farmed. I put my money where my conscience is. I would love it if everyone else did the same but I'm not going to hold my breath.
I'm not a big fan of using animals in research but I know that it's the only way we're going to find a cure for cancer or AIDS or any number of diseases. I do not condone animal testing for cosmetics or any other commercial product. I don't want a rabbit to be harmed or die for my hairspray. Here's a link to the Cruelty Free Shopping Guide that I use. I do not condone or support any group that breaks into or firebombs medical research labs. I won't be a part of terrorism.
I am against anyone who abuses animals. I don't care if they run a puppy mill, a dog fighting ring or if they're just your everyday asshole hurting anything weaker than him. I think we really need stronger punishments for people who abuse and neglect animals. I think we need to be a voice for animals but I don't believe in getting violent or crazy. I will admit when I first heard about heard about Oreo my first reaction was to hope someone throws that guy off the roof of a building. Part of me thinks that if abusers got the same done to them as part of the punishment I wouldn't have a problem with it.
I puppy raise for Pacific Assistance Dogs. I love every dog that comes through my door. The idea that I am doing anything to hurt these dogs is just insulting. I recently found out that PETA is against animals with jobs. If they had their way we wouldn't have guide dogs for the blind, service dogs for the physically impaired or assistance dogs for deaf people. There wouldn't be bomb dogs or drug dogs or rescue dogs. There wouldn't be therapy dogs or seizure dogs. I have seen how happy dogs are to work with their people. These smart dogs would be bored if they didn't have a job. Most people who work with these animals know how special they are and take care of them. If I ever saw anyone abusing a working animal I would get in their face and wouldn't rest until that animal was removed from their care.
This isn't turning out to be your average "animal rights" post. I'm sure most of the others written today will disagree with me on most points. To end I'll share with an episode of Penn & Teller. The following contains scenes with graphic content and course language. Viewer discretion is advised.
You never know what is going to make an impression on you. In 1975 I was 11 years old when Isis first started airing as part of the Shazam/Isis Hour. I discovered a bunch of episodes on YouTube lately and have come to the realization that the show was really goofy and I don't mean the fashion.
Every episode had a lesson. Sometimes the lesson was stated by Isis talking to the audience at the end of the show but usually it was worked into the last conversations between the main characters. Not exactly thrilling television by today's standards. The issues the show dealt with weren't controversial. The plots were simplistic but how complex can you get in a 1/2 format with commercial breaks?
In spite of the simplicity the show stuck with me. Isis was the first Egyptian deity I'd ever heard of and she remains my favorite. A kitschy television show started a lifelong interest in Egyptology. I would have gone into archeology in college but the closest (and cheapest) university didn't offer those kinds of courses. I'm looking forward to turning 65 when I can go and take archeology classes at UBC for free.
Isis was the last Egyptian deity to be worshiped. Her last temple at Philae was closed in the sixth century. There are remains of her temples in Rome and London as well as many other cities. In a way, she's still being worshiped as the Virgin Mary. Many Egyptian depictions of Isis and her son Horus are similar to the way Christians portray Mary and Jesus.
I'm sure the creators of the Isis TV show never expected their Isis (and her raven Tut) to change anyone's life. My love for all things (ancient)Egyptian has lead me to some strange places. I only went to the movie Stargate because it used Egyptian mythology. I read everything I can get my hands on. I watch every documentary on the History channel (there are a lot). I collect images and nicknacks of all shapes and sizes. My Egyptian art address book is from the Cleveland Museum of Art (I've never been to Cleveland). I have bookmarks in the shape of sarcophagi. My pencil case is a sarcophagus from New York. I have a scarab necklace purchased at the Luxor in Las Vegas. Those are just the things I can see from my desk.
I love everything about ancient Egypt. The art, the religion even the politics. I can't seem to get enough. The great thing is no matter how much I read or see there will always be more. And it all started with a silly little TV show.
For some reason I am craving all the Xmas goodies I used to eat when I was a kid. I make a mean shortbread cookie but I want something even better. Below is a recipe that was made two or three time each holiday season when I was growing up. Enjoy
No-Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars
1 cup butter or margarine, melted
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
2 cups powdered sugar
1 cup peanut butter, crunchy or smooth
1-1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
4 tablespoons peanut butter
In a medium mixing bowl, stir together butter or margarine, graham cracker crumbs, powdered sugar and 1 cup peanut butter until well blended. Press into the bottom of an ungreased 9 x 13" baking pan.
In the top of a double boiler over hot (not boiling) water, melt the chocolate chips with the 4 tablespoons peanut butter, stirring occasionally until smooth. Spread on top of the mixture in the baking pan.
Refrigerate for about 1 hour before cutting into bars.
Makes about 24 but yield depends on how big or small you cut the bars/squares.
he United States, locked
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For much of the past 10
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