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Delia Derbyshire: Mother of Electronic Music
09.02.2009
06:08 pm
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Delia Derbyshire is most famous for the Doctor Who theme. Although she did not actually compose the music, it was her arrangement of the piece that has made it one of the most instantly recognizable TV theme tunes of all time:

In 1963, soon after joining the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, Delia Derbyshire was asked to to realize one of the first electronic signature tunes ever used on television. It was Ron Grainer’s score for a new science fiction series, Doctor Who.

Grainer had worked his tune to fit in with the graphics. He used expressions for the noises he wanted - such as wind, bubbles, and clouds. It was a world without synthesizers, samplers and multi-track tape recorders; Delia, assisted by her engineer Dick Mills, had to create each sound from scratch.

She used concrete sources and sine- and square-wave oscillators, tuning the results, filtering and treating, cutting so that the joins were seamless, combining sound on individual tape recorders, re-recording the results, and repeating the process, over and over again. When Grainer heard the result, his response was “Did I really write that?”

“Most of it,” Delia replied.

She was also in an avant garde pop group (using electronic sounds long before Kraftwerk) called Unit Delta Plus:

Perhaps the most famous event that Unit Delta Plus participated in was the 1967 Million Volt Light and Sound Rave at London’s Chalk Farm roundhouse, organised by designers Binder, Edwards and Vaughan (who had previously been hired by Paul McCartney to decorate a piano). The event took place over two nights (January 28th and February 4th 1967) and included a performance of tape music by Unit Delta Plus, as well as a playback of the legendary Carnival of Light, a fourteen minute sound collage assembled by McCartney around the the time of the Beatles’ Penny Lane sessions.

She was in later group called White Noise and they recorded an extremely strange, harsh and very futuristic album in 1969 called An Electric Storm—it’s pretty evil sounding—that’s been embraced by today’s electronic music fans. She also contributed music to the classic British 70s sci-fi series, The Tomorrow People, but by the 70s she was starting to show signs of depression and left the BBC Radiophonic Workshop. She worked in a few other soundtrack factories, then a bookstore, then an art gallery but generally drifted away from her musical career, becoming a severe alcoholic. She died in 2001 as her earlier recordings were were beginning to come out on CD and as her influence on modern electronic music was at last being acknowledged.

 

Delia Derbyshire website

Lost tapes of the Dr Who composer includes several audio samples and a proto “dance” track from the 60s

Delia Derbyshire, producer of Doctor Who theme music, has legacy restored

Delia Derbyshire Obituary

Posted by Richard Metzger
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09.02.2009
06:08 pm
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Salvador Dali TV Commercial
09.02.2009
05:53 pm
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Salvador Dali—or Avida Dollars if you prefer—shilling for Lanvin Chocolate in the early 70s.

Posted by Richard Metzger
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09.02.2009
05:53 pm
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Meet “Pole Dance,” The Pole Dancing Doll
09.02.2009
05:07 pm
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Can’t wait to see how Glenn Beck ties this one to the Obama administration (or Van Jones)—pundits at Fox News, start your indignation!

Batteries and dollar bills not included.  A grainy Internet photo of an alleged new toy for girls has parents in a tizzy—“Pole Dance,” a doll that, well, dances around a pole.  Like a stripper.  In the photo, which first appeared on gadget blog Gizmodo.com, the box for the toy depicts a cherubic, brunette doll in a shiny green dress, clutching a pole with a disco ball on top while standing on a small stage that says “Pole Dancer.”  The simple graphics on the box include the words “Style,” “Flash,” “Up and Down,” “Go Round and Round,” and “Music.” 

Whether or not it’s a hoax or a sign of the apocalypse, posters on parenting Web site parentdish.com were aghast over the suggestive doll sending a horrible message to young girls.  A writer for Gizmodo.com told parentdish.com that the new doll is likely authentic—and probably came from Asia.  “As far as I can tell, it’s a real product,” said Gizmodo.com’s Jesus Diaz.  “It didn’t seem Photoshopped to me.  It feels more like the typical Chinese-made product you can only find in low cost stores.”

Via the New York Daily News: Photo Of Pole Dancing Doll Has Parents In An Outtrage

And now watch Pole Dance in her first video!

 

Posted by Bradley Novicoff
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09.02.2009
05:07 pm
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The Truth About Lying
09.02.2009
03:24 pm
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The current Forbes offers up some interesting theories as to why men and women lie—especially when it comes to that hall-of-mirrors world of online dating.  With apologies to Jane, it’s a truth universally acknowledged that a single man will lie about his height and salary, while a single woman will often lie about their age.  But why?  Well, according to Dennis Reina, author of Trust & Betrayal in the Workplace, men, culturally, are more concerned with their professional status, women their social status.

The playing field’s pretty even (now) when it comes to issues of extramarital affairs and money.  Regarding the later, though, men tend to lie about, “bad investments or financial decisions, while women (even if they make as much or more money than the man) will misrepresent their buying habits.”

But there’s also, perhaps, in play here a biological component.  Regarding women who alter their appearance with push-up bras and Botox, Mark Frank, a communications professor at the University of Buffalo, suggests, “these small deceptions might be necessary for procreation and social survival.  A tiger has stripes that coat its back and blend it into the high grass.  It doesn’t wake up one day and say, ‘Shall I put on spots?’” 

Hmm…comparing “deceptive women” to tigers.  Hey, Dr. Frank: maybe there’s a psychology professor down the hall?

In Forbes: He Lied, She Lied

Bonus: The Knickerbockers’ Lies

Posted by Bradley Novicoff
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09.02.2009
03:24 pm
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Rare Photos Of Now Extinct Beasts
09.02.2009
02:18 pm
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Say hello and goodbye forever to the Thylacine (above), and the Quagga (below).  These are just two of the thought-provoking photos of long-gone animals gathered at Environmental Graffiti.  Echoing Jared Diamond’s Collapse, Graffiti’s Karl Fabricius writes, “With modern photography having only been invented in the 1820s, these snapshots are a visible testament to just how recently the creatures shown were wiped out—and a jarring reminder of the precarious situation for many species still left on the planet.”

Well, all I can say is it’s a good thing cameras have come a long way since 1820!  When it’s our time to go, and we need those final pictures, mankind can rely on automatic timers.

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In Environmental Graffiti: Rare Photos Of Now Extinct Beats

See also: Jared Diamond speaks @ TED

Posted by Bradley Novicoff
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09.02.2009
02:18 pm
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Radio Spirit World
09.02.2009
12:42 pm
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The brilliant minds who brought us the retro charms of the Look Around You television series, Robert Popper and Peter Serafinowicz are now broadcasting dead from the afterlife for your listening pleasure:

Posted by Richard Metzger
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09.02.2009
12:42 pm
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Werner Herzog’s La Boheme
09.02.2009
12:41 pm
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Taking bullets, battling Kinski, is there NOTHING Werner can’t do?!  As spotted in the LA TimesCulture Monster:

Leave it to stubbornly iconoclastic filmmaker Werner Herzog to breathe new life into the well-worn score of Puccini’s “La Boh?ɬ

Posted by Bradley Novicoff
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09.02.2009
12:41 pm
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Unraveling The Strange Death Of Brian Jones
09.02.2009
01:20 am
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Yesterday’s paper, in this case the Daily Mail, suggests, finally, some fresh interest in solving the case that is the strange and tragic death of Brian Jones:

Police are reviewing the death of Rolling Stone Brian Jones ?

Posted by Bradley Novicoff
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09.02.2009
01:20 am
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Casa Louis Vuitton
09.02.2009
01:04 am
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I wonder if it’s real or counterfeit?

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(via blogardulceblogar)

Posted by Tara McGinley
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09.02.2009
01:04 am
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Ben & Jerry Celebrate Gay Marriage in Vermont with Hubby Hubby Flavor
09.01.2009
07:01 pm
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Ben & Jerry?

Posted by Richard Metzger
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09.01.2009
07:01 pm
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