Sometime between January 11th and January 23rd, I thought this stuff was interesting. You might think so too!

From HTML5 Audio Safari Extension //

HTML5 Audio Safari extension currently replaces the default Tumblr audio player (with or without Flash) and WordPress Audio Player (without Flash).

Comes in very handy when combined with John Gruber’s suggestions for running your Mac Flash-free.

(Also, and somewhat unrelated: I’ve finally gotten tired of the many errors the Delicious-to-weblog plugin was throwing, so I’m going to experiment with moving away from using Delicious as a link aggregator, and just post when I find something interesting. Old-school blogging. Imagine that!)

Just a bit of silliness here. A little selective editing of premium pieces of this YouTube video gives us this particularly choice piece of audio. Feel free to download and use as your favorite ringtone. ;)

Long Version (201KB .mp3): “Hello, I’m George Takei. You are…a douchebag. That’s right! A douchebag. You are always going to be a total douchebag. I can only suspect that you have some…shall I say…’issues’ to work out?”

Medium Version (106KB .mp3): “You are…a douchebag. That’s right! A douchebag. You are always going to be a total douchebag.”

Short Version (29KB .mp3): “You are…a douchebag.”

I couldn’t resist.

Sometime between January 13th and January 17th, I thought this stuff was interesting. You might think so too!

  • U.S. Supreme Court to Rule on Petition-Signers’ Rights: "The Supreme Court on Friday added five new cases to its decision docket, including a significant test case on a plea for confidentiality for the identities of voters who sign petitions to get policy measures on election ballots. The Court expedited the briefing of all five cases, thus giving the Justices the option of scheduling all of them for oral argument in the April sitting. There is no commitment to April arguments at this time, however."
  • Dispersion of Sound Waves in Ice Sheets: "The most striking thing about these recordings is the synthetic-sounding descending tones caused by the phenomenon of the dispersion of sound waves. The high frequencies of the popping and cracking noises are transmitted faster by the ice than the deeper frequencies, which reach the listener with a time lag as glissandi sinking to almost bottomless depths."
  • Here’s to Planet Earth! Doomsday Clock Moved Back 1 Minute: "The Doomsday clock, a measurement of the threat posed by nuclear weapons, biotechnology, and climate change, has been moved back one minute, to six minutes before midnight, signaling a more 'hopeful state of world affairs.'"
  • Pat Robertson Cites Haiti’s Earthquake as What Happens When You ‘Swear a Pact to the Devil’: "Today on his 700 Club television show, Christian broadcaster Pat Robertson highlighted the tragedy and said that his network will be there 'to help the people.' However, he then tried to offer an explanation for the earthquake, blaming Haiti's own people for once making a 'pact to the devil'"

A couple weeks ago, author, actor, and humorist John Hodgman was the guest on NPR’s “Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me!” As I listened to John and host Peter Sagal, John’s simple, polite, and deadpan delivery of often ludicrous responses to Peter’s questions reminded me very strongly of an old comedy album of my dad’s that I listened to time and time again growing up, where ABC television announcer Ernie Anderson plays straight man to comedian Tim Conway in a series of interviews.

Tim Conway and Ernie Anderson: Are We On?Here, then, is that album, recorded to .mp3 from the very album that I grew up listening to. You can listen to or download the tracks individually or grab the full album as a 47Mb .zip file. Enjoy! The whole album is quite funny and worth downloading, but if you want to sample, my particular favorites are “Do You Fly Much?”, “Boy”, and “The Baseball Coordinator”.

  1. Do You Fly Much? (3.8Mb .mp3)
  2. Boy (5.1Mb .mp3)
  3. Dr. Herford (6.3Mb .mp3)
  4. Matchmaker (5.8Mb .mp3)
  5. Race Car Driver (6.8Mb .mp3)
  6. King Anderson of Parma (4.7Mb .mp3)
  7. The Warden (5.1Mb .mp3)
  8. The Baseball Coordinator (4.7Mb .mp3)
  9. The Swiss Astronaut (4.8Mb .mp3)

As a bonus: this is one of the funniest Tim Conway bits I’ve ever seen. An outtake from the Carol Burnett Show, Tim won’t let the sketch go on until he’s done telling his elephant stories…

Liner notes for the ‘Are We On?’ album after the jump: Continue reading

[Note: This was originally a post to the rec.arts.movies Usenet newsgroup. I’m including it here for completeness. Originally archived here.]

In article <>, (Charles P. Samenow) writes:

What are the differences between: DTS, Digital Dolby, Dolby, Dolby SR and THX?

Well, I’m no expert, but here’s what I’ve gathered…

  • Dolby – uses the same techniques as your Dolby cassettes…noise reduction, basically.
  • DolbySR – the noise reduction, plus better placement of where the noises appear to be coming from in the theatre. Stands for Dolby Spectral Recording.
  • Digital Dolby – in addition to the normal sound track, a digital track is printed between the sockets of the film. When a theatre is equipped to read and reproduce this track, it results in near cd quality sound (no background hiss and pops), and also uses six tracks to place the sounds…one center, two front (left and right), two rear (left and right), and one subwoofer channel. End result-some of the best quality sound I’ve ever heard in a movie theater. When it’s used effectively, it can be really mind-blowing.
  • DTS – a similar technique to Digital Dolby, only developed by Sony (if I remember correctly) and Lucasfilm…which can cause some licensing conflicts in theatres already set up with Digital Dolby. Competing systems and all. Major difference…instead of using the space between the sprocket holes, the digital track is printed in a small strip on the edge of the film, which means the actual print can’t be quite as wide. I recently saw Schindler’s list in DTS, though, and didn’t see any noticeable difference in the width of the image.
  • THX – developed by Lucasfilm. Not so much an improvement in the sound itself, THX uses special placing of speakers and translation of the audio tracks to make sure no matter where in the theatre you sit, you get the true stereo effect…something which can suffer greatly towards the edges of a theatre in a non-THX environment.

Where’d I get all the info? Lots of reading, and working in the only theatre in Alaska to have Dolby Digital installed. Anchorage’s Fireweed theatre was (this may have changed by now) at the time the biggest Dolby Digital installation on the West Coast…the auditorium sits over 900. Digital installations has been done before, just not in an auditorium that large. Was a more than $10,000 upgrade to the existing system. Plus, though I don’t work there anymore, the licensing agreements have been settled to the point that it now has DTS also.

Incidentally, except for the DTS (because it’s from a different company), all of the systems are compatable. Using digital negates the need for normal Dolby (noise reduction for digital sound?), however it’s perfectly possible (and has been done) to have a movie recorded in both Dolby Digital and THX, and I suppose in both DTS and THX. Sounds incredible, too…