DID THEY HEAR THE DRUMS IN COPENHAGEN,
banging their warning?
On the twelfth day in Copenhagen
was global warming stopped in its tracks
by Brown and Barack and Hu Jintao,
by Meles Zenawi and Al Sabban,
by Yvo de Boer and Hedegaard?
Did they strike a match
or strike a bargain,
the politicos in Copenhagen?
Did they twiddle their thumbs?
Or hear the drums
and hear the drums
and hear the drums?”—The Twelve Days of Christmas 2009 by Carol Ann Duffy
WE PAID THE BLUDDY PIPER
fir ‘Royal Bank;
twa pipers each
fir Fred and Phil,
fir Finlay, Fraser, Frank.
Too big tae fail!
The wee dog laughed!
The dish ran awa’ wi’ the spoon…
We paid the bluddy pipers,
but we dinnae call the tune.”—The Twelve Days of Christmas 2009 by Carol Ann Duffy
BUT THE DEAD SOLDIER’S LADY DOES NOT DANCE.
But the lady in the Detention Centre
does not dance.
But the honour killing lady does not dance.
But the drowned policeman’s lady
does not dance.
But the lady in the filthy hospital ward
does not dance.
But the lady in Wootton Bassett does not dance.
But the gangmaster’s lady does not dance.
But the lady with the pit bull terrier
does not dance.
But another dead soldier’s lady
does not dance.”—The Twelve Days of Christmas 2009 by Carol Ann Duffy
ONE MILKED MONEY TO MEND HER MOAT.
Two milked voters to float her boat.
Three milked Parliament to flip her flat.
Four milked Government to snip her cat.
Five milked the dead for close-up tears.
Six milked the tax-payer for years and
years and years…
Seven milked the system to Botox
Eight milked herself – the selfish cow.”—The Twelve Days of Christmas 2009 by Carol Ann Duffy
TWO TURTLE DOVES,
that Shakespeare loved –
turr turr, turr turr –
the chopping down
of where they hide –
turr turr, turr turr –
the spreading drought
of the Sahara.”—The Twelve Days of Christmas 2009 by Carol Ann Duffy
I wish I could embed the video from this page, but I can’t. Little Boots and Gary Numan covering Velvet Underground - amazing. Go see.
Shouldn’t that be Little Boots Meets Electropop Legend Gary Numan! OMG I CANT WAIT TO HEAR IT! GARY NUMAN IS A GOD!
To bad he’s working with little boots though, I would of thought he had higher standards than that…
ON THE FIRST DAY OF CHRISTMAS,
a buzzard on a branch.
no partridge, pear tree;
but my true love sent to me
a card from home.
I sat alone,
crouched in yellow dust,
and traced the grins of my kids
with my thumb.
Somewhere down the line,
for another father, husband,
brother, son, a bullet
with his name on.
”—The Twelve Days of Christmas 2009 by Carol Ann Duffy
In the Christmas Radio Times, there is a specially commissioned poem by the Poet Laureate, Carol Ann Duffy. Now, I think she’s amazing anyway, but I actually genuinely nearly cried when I read the first section. And it gets better and better. So I’ll be blogging one section every day for the next twelve just to share the genius - you won’t read a better worded summary of 2009, I guarantee it.
The group from the University of Michigan built the applications themselves as part of their studies and composed the music especially for them.
Some applications have unique noises whereas others sound similar to their real instrument counterparts.
Performers wear speakers around their wrists onto which the iPhone handsets are attached.
Their first live concert is to be held on 9th December. It will contain the student’s original composistions and will mark the end of their three month course, which was run by the Austrian computer scientist and musician, Georg Essl.
He told journalists that while the concept of using computers to make music was not new, the rise of smartphones had made the idea more practical.
“I come from this community of people who work on sophisticated ways of making sounds,” he said, “but they tend to be very handcrafted prototypes. I realised that few people end up using them.”
“Now everybody has a smartphone, the question of how you get an instrument into people’s hands has disappeared.”
Unlike traditional instruments, iPhones do not have to be physically modified for sound, Mr Essl said.
The in-built microphone can be transformed into a non-speech sensor, enabling students to blow into it in order to mimic a wind instrument.
The motion sensors can also be used musically - an application can be programmed to sound different when the device is tilted, for example - but the desired effect is down to the individual designer.
“But there are some general predictions that can be made. One statement I can make with full conviction is this: The days of amassing mega-riches in the music industry are pretty much done. At least for the bands, artists and managers.”—The Days Of Mega-Riches In Music Are Over | MADE (via kvasir)
Google’s Josh Cohen has announced a concession to Rupert and James Murdoch’s “No Free News on the Internet” campaign (it’s not called that really - but it should be).
Previously, Google would link to any site. Murdoch has threatened to take News International sites off Google altogether (including The Sun and The Times in the UK - please note I am hyperlinking to them. For free. You can click those as many times as you like). His case is that Google is profiting from their journalism - they write a good story, but by having a link to the story on Google people read it there and hence Google get the hits and the advertising revenue. He is also planning to make his news websites subscription-only, in which case he want to limit Google even further from linking to his stories.
So from today Google has conceded. They are clearly concerned about the issue (as Josh Cohen’s Blog shows) From now on, providers can opt in to a click-limit scheme. The first five clicks (links you click on from Google to that particular news provider) are free. The sixth click takes you to a registration/subscription page - and it won’t let you in until you subscribe.
Of course, Murdoch isn’t stupid. He’s struck a deal with Bing, Microsoft’s competitor search engine to Google - and clearly hopes that his news sites will retain the traffic from Bing searches. And Bing have come up with a plan where advertising revenue on their news search site will be split 50/50 with the news producers - provided they are exclusive to Bing (i.e. they pull out of Google altogether)
There are lots of problems with this:
Murdoch appears to have missed the point of the World Wide Web - that is is a series of sites linking to each other, interconnected, to make a web. If you start cutting those links, you separate yourself from the web.
What will users do when they click the sixth link? Pay? Or go back to Google and go to a different news provider with the same story? And who will get the advertising revenue then? - the ones with the free news, that’s who. Except the BBC, of course, who don’t even need to advertise…
On principle, this is scary. The thought that some sites could make themselves invisible to Google leads to a two-tier information system where you get one view of the world from a Google search for a news story, and another view from a Bing search. Ideologies, anyone?
It’ll be interesting to see how the BBC and the Guardian respond, as the chief players on the “keep news free” side of the debate. Because Murdoch is taking quite a gamble here, taking on Google… You can read this Tech Crunch blog to put this whole debate in context. Unless you are at school, in which case it’s filtered as “Web Chat” - and that’s what the whole internet would be like it Rupert Murdoch were in charge. You can find any opinion you like - provided I approve of it.
Don’t forget, Murdoch also owns MySpace. Will he start charging for that, too? Because, as soon as he bought it, everyone started using Facebook anyway, demonstrating the power of the consumer. I hope the same is true of the news market - because in my book it should be about choice, not profit.