Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Perl humor

Okay, so I'm looking through Perl documentation for a certain module that I need for work, and I come across this. Yes, it's a real specification. Yes, it's been implemented. Yes, it must be completely tongue-in-cheek. And yes, there are multiple references to Veggietales.

A bunch of quick links

Alright -- there's a lot of news here, and I don't have much time to analyze it right now, so I'll just provide some quick links:
AOL is expanding in Loudoun County, here.
An article on Blago supporting a casino in the Southeast Suburbs here, and it sounds like he's not talking about the Ho-Chunk.
Anarchists attack the Protest Warrior delegation in New York, caught on video here (via Instapundit).
Related to that, Communists for Kerry here.
Editor from Reuters sends National Right to Life Committee a nasty email here (via That Liberal Media).
The Kerry sisters booed at the MTV VMA here.

Monday, August 30, 2004

Protest Warrior Pics

I wasn't at this protest, but I was sent the link to some pictures. A group of anarchists (at least I was told anarchists, judge for yourselves from the pics) left from Chicago on Saturday to go to NYC to protest the RNC. Protest Warrior's Chicago chapter was there to wish them well. Here it is.

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Cubs Update

Baseball Prospectus finally has their playoff odds calculations here. The Cubs are projected to have an 80.2% chance to make the playoffs! Other notable probabilities: White Sox are at 2.5%, St Louis is 100%, San Fran 22.4%, San Diego 4.7%, Florida 1.9%, Houston 0.4%, Boston 76.3%.

Protestwarrior Chicago

Don't have the time to post a detailed analysis of the counterprotest on Saturday, but you can check out the protestors' reaction here. Read the comments -- it should give you an insight into both sides of the protest. And my brother may have gotten a mention, unless there was another PW with a Cubs hat:

Re: Protest "Warrior" Website HACKED!
by Tito
(No verified email address) Current rating: -4
23 Aug 2004
Adding insult to injury, a PW guy was wearing a "Chicago Cubs" hat. It goes without sayint, that only fascists support this team. Anarchists are SOX fans all the way!

Anyways, the Protest Warriors got wind of this post, and I believe you can see at the top that the article has now been downvoted to 'hidden' status. :)

Monday, August 23, 2004

Casino Update

OK -- I've already found the first plank for my platform: I oppose the plans to construct a Ho-Chunk Casino in Lynwood. Here are the latest details on the plan.

Jesse Jackson, Jr., who will probably be my opponent in '08, supports the casino.
South Holland, Dyer and Beecher oppose the casino.
Casino websites, here and here, think that Homewood is in Indiana.

I oppose this casino not only for moral reasons, but also for economic and social reasons. This casino would not increase tax revenues in the area, since the Ho Chunk Nation does not have to pay taxes. The casino would not bring a large amount of jobs into the area, since most of the jobs would be filled by members of the Ho Chunk Nation. The casino would not increase profits for other businesses in the area (restaurants and the like); as an all-around entertainment center, hosting restaurants and other games in addition to the casino, the Ho Chunk installation would in fact compete with other businesses. Basically, this casino will act as a parasite, a leech, a mosquito, a vampire, sucking the value out of the local economy.

If you live in the area of the proposed casino -- Lynwood, Lansing, Cal City, Glenwood, Sauk Village, Munster, Dyer, Crete, Chicago Heights, Beecher, Schererville, Homewood, Flossmoor -- make your voice heard! Get out to your local village meetings and speak up! If I were in the area during the week, I'd be out there, telling our local officials that we DON'T WANT A CASINO!

Persons 2008

Ok, I think that my candidacy will do better than this guy. But maybe I should work on an official platform, some sheet of paper that I can point to and say, "This is why I'm running." Look for that here sometime before Election Day. 2008.


The Scream was stolen yesterday.

Saturday, August 21, 2004

While we're on the subject of polls . . .

Go here and vote for your favorite bands for Cornerstone 2005! Suggested ballot:

  • Ace Troubleshooter

  • Audio Adrenaline

  • Blindside

  • Brave Saint Saturn

  • Decahedron

  • Dogwood

  • East West

  • mewithoutYou

  • Newsboys

  • Project 86

  • Side Walk Slam

  • Skillet

  • Staple

  • Stavesacre

  • Stretch Arm Strong

  • Switchfoot

  • The Evaluation

  • The OC Supertones

  • Thousand Foot Krutch

  • Too Bad Eugene

I would've voted for 38th Parallel, Calibretto, Shurmen Steadfast, and a couple others, except that either they've broken up or they will break up by next year. But I'm voting for Too Bad Eugene in spite of this, so laugh at my absurdity.

Ah -- here's the current top 25:

  1. Disciple - 2303 votes

  2. P.O.D. - 2261 votes

  3. Blindside - 2022 votes

  4. Switchfoot - 2009 votes

  5. Relient K - 1693 votes

  6. MXPX - 1449 votes

  7. Skillet - 1410 votes

  8. Pillar - 1399 votes

  9. Project 86 - 1330 votes

  10. 12 Stones - 1260 votes

  11. Dead Poetic - 1223 votes

  12. Kutless - 1159 votes

  13. Third Day - 1138 votes

  14. Demon Hunter - 1069 votes

  15. Delirious? - 1064 votes

  16. Inkblot - 1060 votes

  17. Saviour Machine - 1058 votes

  18. Anberlin - 1026 votes

  19. As I Lay Dying - 1019 votes

  20. Norma Jean - 1015 votes

  21. Extol - 1004 votes

  22. mewithoutYou - 1000 votes

  23. Audio Adrenaline - 980 votes

  24. David Crowder Band - 953 votes

  25. Jeremy Camp - 945 votes

Surprises: Inkblot and Saviour Machine -- who are they? And I knew Disciple had gotten popular in the past year, but I had no idea they'd be beating out P.O.D.!

Friday, August 20, 2004

Best Product Icon Ever

I guess there's a competition for everything. Go here to find out about American Association of Advertising Agencies (AAAA), its Advertising Week in New York City, and its quest to crown the best product icons and slogans ever.

I'm torn as to who I'm voting for -- Mr Clean or Kool-Aid Man?

You can also collect digital trading cards of the competitors. How cheesy can you be?

I hope I get the Energizer Bunny . . . Ah well, Smokey Bear's good enough.

Concert Updates

Concerts I plan to get to:

  • Synergy, Amber, Sad Hannah and others tomorrow -- FREE!

  • Dumpstar (and Subseven maybe??) next Friday -- FREE!

  • Zombie Youth Haiku D'Etat Abbey Normal DREADNOK:RIPPER on October 8th

  • Calibretto's LAST SHOW EVER on October 30th

Anyone else in for some of these?

Synergy Update

I usually wouldn't post Jeremy Camp or John Reuben concerts on here, but I will, since it's good to see Synergy starting to get some recognition. They also opened for Bleach's Chicago stop of their farewell tour.

Dear Edan Concert-goer:

Thursday, August 26, Jeremy Camp, Sanctus Real, and Seven Places at Olivet Nazarene University are closer than you think! See for yourself! Mark your calendar. Go to the directions button at the bottom of our webpage and type in your address for customized directions: http://www.edanconcerts.com/aug26.html

We hope you and your friends agree. Here are the rest of the details and scroll down to the end to find out about John Reuben's show this Sunday:

Thursday, August 26, 7 p.m.
Jeremy Camp, Sanctus Real, Seven Places
Olivet Nazarene University
Chalfant Hall
1 University Avenue
Bourbonnais, IL
General admission tickets are $15 in advance.
Gold circle tickets are $18 in advance.
For groups of 10 or more, tickets are $12 each in advance.
For ticket outlets, go to http://www.edanconcerts.com/tickets.html

Look who's going to be at Souled Out Berwyn! This Sunday, August 22, it is John Reuben with special guest Synergy. Doors open at 6 p.m., the cost is $10, and there will be free food and giveaways all night! Souled Out Berwyn is located at 7009 Ogden Avenue, Berwyn, Illinois. Check out www.souledoutberwyn.org for more information.

We hope to see you with either Jeremy Camp, John Reuben, or both,

The Edan Concerts and Ministries Staff

Next week, we'll be announcing the rest of our fall series!

Coming to Souled Out Berwyn Thursday, September 16 -- Disciple and East West. Also coming soon to Souled Out: Spoken, Staple, Madison Greene and The Fold!

Thursday, August 19, 2004

Twenty Questions update

Just wanted to let you guys know that somehow, this site is in the top thirty list of referrers to Twenty Questions in August -- twice! Check it out here -- you'll have to scroll down a bit to get to the top referrers list.

Over three hundred referrals? I didn't know I had that many hits to my own site, but I'm passing that many over to another? Or do I have just one person that kept clicking on hundreds of times?

Wednesday, August 18, 2004


Words cannot express my disgust at this: they're making a sequel to the worst movie ever.

Conrad's trip to Europe

Go here and check out Conrad Tolosa's European trip. You will come to a better understanding as to why Ghoti Hook was the best and silliest Christian punk band ever.

Prayer Request

Go here (as well as some earlier posts there) and read up on Lara's roommate's mother, and then please pray for her and the family.

Tuesday, August 17, 2004


Can't believe I missed this, seeing as how I had ESPN on for an hour or two yesterday. Oh well.

Sosa gone?

Good article on Sosa here. Phil Rogers makes it sound like Slammin' Sammy is doing so poorly that his option won't be picked up next year unless he helps the Cubs into the World Series.

I wouldn't be very sad if he were to leave. Remember that rumored trade to the Yankees back in 2000 or 2001? I was hoping for Sosa to leave way back then. I'm kinda glad now that he didn't -- he may have been the one to put the Yanks over the top in the 2001 Series against the D'Backs -- but he's not helping the Cubs at all anymore.

"Hackers Take Aim at GOP"

Here. I think it's moronic that dissidents in this country would work against free speech. I mean, the whole act of dissidence relies on a political system that values free speech. And then, if you go ahead and try to muzzle someone else, in the end all you're doing is eroding your own rights, as well as giving your cause a bad image.

The point of the electronic demonstrations isn't to take down a site, according to Ricardo Dominguez, co-founder of the Electronic Disturbance Theater, or EDT, which is releasing a FloodNet program of its own. Unlike hackers' denial-of-service attacks, which often hijack computers against their users' will, EDT's JavaScript-based software depends on how many people use the program. "It's a way to let people around the world gather and let their presence be felt," Dominguez said.

Ha. Bringing mob action into the 21st century.

Monday, August 16, 2004

US dominance over?

No, I'm not talking geopolitically, thankfully :) . I'm talking basketball -- WE LOST TO PUERTO RICO! It's not even an honest country, for Pete's sake! It's PART of the US, and our NBA-All-Star-studded team couldn't beat them! Not even close -- 92-73! TOO MANY EXCLAMATION POINTS!!!!11!!!1

I'm not willing to say America's basketball dominance is over quite yet, but if they don't come back from behind and win the gold it'll seal the deal for me.

Sunday, August 15, 2004


Okay, here it is -- my evil plan to save the world.

I don't know how many of my regular readers (all five of you :) are really immersed in the blogosphere. I jumped into the 'sphere in about April and never turned back. Instapundit and company haved proven to be much more efficient than mainstream media in making important news available to the public. There are many reasons for this -- the blog news cycle is ahead of the mainstream news curve (check this); bloggers aren't afraid to admit their bias; bloggers hold fact-checking to be the greatest good; bloggers provide links to the source material. And the traditional news media is running scared.

But there's a big problem with blogs, and if you've been following the industry, you know what it is. Blogs identify news, fact-check news, highlight news, corroborate news, dissect the news in hundreds of ways, but by and large they don't perform the most important act in the news industry -- they don't report news.

Of course, there are exceptions to this rule -- for example, when Iraqi blogger Zeyad broke the story of a couple fellow Iraqis who were allegedly thrown into a river by American soldiers (latest news here, BTW). But by and large, blogs just don't report. And those who do -- the major news media, including television, radio, and newspaper -- seem to become more and more incompetent every day. So the essential job of journalism just isn't getting done.

Not that journalism has ever been perfect in the past. Yellow journalism has existed for well over a century. But I have the feeling that we're at a low point in the history of journalism right now (check out this, this, this and tons of other sites that detail this), and thus hopefully, very soon, we'll be moving back up. Check out a post here that talks about the changes coming.

This is America. Well actually, it's the Internet, but you get what I mean. My point so far is that there will be a paradigm shift in the near future. The shift will be huge, and will affect at least one of the nation's largest corporate sectors -- the news industry. So as America's a capitalist country, I've put together a business plan. I don't have the means to execute this business plan, and unfortunately I don't have the knowledge or connections to get someone else to put it into action, but I'm pretty confident it would be successful if adopted.

Enough rambling. Here's the plan: Locate top-notch part-time bloggers in the major news markets -- say New York, DC, LA, Chicago, Houston, Miami, Seattle, Atlanta, Boston; maybe add in Philadelphia, Denver, St Louis, Dallas, San Francisco, Cincinnati. The final list will probably be determined both by news potential and the quality of available local bloggers. Hire these bloggers (I'm thinking one from each city to start) to become full-time blogging journalists -- active members of the city press corps, feet on the ground, all that, but doing it with more intelligence, clarity, and honesty than the established reporters. Host the blogs on a centralized website, similar GUI to the existing news websites, but whole thought-process on the back end is different. Really separate the reporting and analysis; provide the raw information such as interview and press conference transcripts. Get the reader more involved in the news process by allowing them to suggest press conference questions, perhaps open up the possibility of guest blog posts. This could go all sorts of places.

Of course, I haven't talked about the money-making side of it, which is of course the most important area if we're making this a capitalist enterprise. I don't know whether web ads would support this or not, or maybe something else can be done. However, I'm confident that I've outlined a marketable product, and I guess I'll leave it up to the marketing experts to do their thing.

All we'd need, really, would be some venture capitalist or benefactor or something . . .

Mark Cuban, are you listening?

Saturday, August 14, 2004

Johnny Horton

Dude, I am really depressed. So I'm in Nashville, home of country music (which I generally abhor, as I believe I recounted in my previous post). A co-worker and I aer walking around the city at night, and we decide to check out a couple stores. We go into a country music store, where I figure I'll never find anything I would ever want to buy, and we look around a little bit. Just as we're leaving, I remember the one country musician whose work I respect and enjoy -- Johnny Horton, the Singing American! I go back to the music shelves, look through, and sure enough there are a few Horton compilations. I flip through them, and they don't have The Singing American, but all the comps have the three tracks I'm looking for -- The War of New Orleans, North to Alaska, and When It's Springtime In Alaska (It's Forty Below). I grab one of them, and wonder of wonders, I'm buying a CD from a country music store! I should've known never to do that . . .

I listen to my favorite tracks on the way home. "In 1814 we took a little trip / Along with Colonel Jackson down the mighty Mississip". It's hard to believe, but these are formative songs to my musical youth. My Glenwood Bible Church missions trips (to Oklahoma and then Colorado) were the first time I ever heard Ghoti Hook, after the youth pastor put Samson onto one of his mix minidiscs. The Battle of New Orleans was right after that on the mix, so we would listen to one and then the other over and over again. Ask my friend Nick, and he can verify this. Maybe my brother also. Of course, Ghoti Hook would soon serve as my gateway into Christian punk music. For some reason, Johnny Horton never did the same thing for country.

Anyways, back to Nashville. This morning (meaning half-an-hour ago), I stuck the Horton CD in to give it a listen. Just for kicks, I checked out Audioscrobbler to see what it said were similar bands to Johnny. See, I kinda had this theory started up that Johnny Horton bears a secret resemblance to punk music, because I've met a few other punks who appreciate him. I go to his track listing page, and I see this. WHAT?! I do a Google search (I think it's the first time I've typed into Google a word I would never say aloud) and Lileks, a site which I read all the time anyway, confirms it here.

Now I'm stuck. Do I still keep the CD as a memento of my youth? Do I get cynical and realize that one of my biggest musical memories was based on a song by a racist? Arrrgh.

Lessons to learn: (1) Always check your musicians online before a purchase. (2) Someone online will always have had the same experience that you've just had, and will have written on it better than you will. (3) Never buy music from country music stores.

Thursday, August 12, 2004


It's weird to know that I'm starting to get regular readers from across the world. I know that I have a couple loyal face-to-face friends that read this regularly, and some co-workers check this out from time to time, but I'm starting to find that I have regulars who have never met me and really have no idea who I am. For example (and I hope I'm not breaching any obscure Net rules of etiquette by getting into specifics), Melly Durham has linked to me, and I know that I have a subscriber in Iceland via bloglines.

Welcome! I guess I should provide a little self-description to you unknowns out there, so hopefully eventually you'll make yourselves known:

I'm a fundamentalist Christian -- ooh, scary! Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior, I believe in a six-day creation as well as Moses, Joshua and all the patriarchs, and I'm willing to talk intelligently about my beliefs. I listen to underground Christian music (Tooth and Nail Records, Cornerstone Festival, etc), and can't stand CCM (Contemporary Christian Music) or country. On the other hand, I prefer singing hymns during worship services -- the older, the better.

In many senses, I'm a conservative punk, although not completely. I lean toward libertarianism, except in the cases of abortion and drugs. I lean toward small government, except in the cases of education and defense. I believe that it's too late, and it's no longer in God's will, for the United States to be a 'Christian nation', although I strongly believe that my beliefs should inform my politics. Bush good, Kerry bad.

My pet peeve is dishonesty. I'm a techie geek, having played video games since the age of two, and I've been programming computers since almost the same time. I love reading sci-fi, especially Star Trek, and I think I'm moving toward the classic stuff from the fifties and earlier. I have a BS in Computer Science and Mathematics from a nationally-respected university. I have a great job as a traveling consultant in the IT industry. Die Hard Cubs Fan, Bulls fan through thick and thin, bandwagon Rams fan that never got off. Teetotaler. A bucket hat is my fashion statement.

More and more, I'm coming to believe that my greatest asset is absurdity.

What's Wrong With This Picture?

Posted by Hello

For those of you who don't know, Alterman is MSNBC's top left-leaning opinion columnist, while Reynolds serves as his right-leaning counterpart (though that's not exactly correct).

Houston's Streetcars unsafe

Story here. Yeah, this doesn't seem to have anything to do with me, but actually I have first-hand experience of the dangerous Houston railway. A couple co-workers and I visited Houston a few months back, and we drove through the streets of downtown Houston at about 11pm, crossing over these tracks multiple times. The tracks are very badly designed -- they are exactly at street level, and it's easy to miss that you're nearing the tracks at all. And the tracks run parallel to one of the roads, basically sharing the same pavement space almost as a left lane. It's just plain bad civil engineering.

Keyes moving into Cal City

Alan Keyes, the new Republican candidate for US Senate from Illinois, is moving into Calumet City. Story here; seriously, we should go check it out sometime, see if we can talk to him. That could jumpstart my political career.

Oh yeah, that's right: I've decided to run for the US House of Representatives from Illinois' second district, the 2008 election. So vote for me. In 2008.

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Blindside Question

Stephanie writes in and asks:

>:O Chancey, say it ain't so... Blindside swears now?!?


Well, Steph, this is a good time to advertise this other website that I found a couple weeks ago. You may notice this little button I have in the corner of my blog:

You can click on that, and it should redirect you to a Twenty Questions website where questions can be asked of me. Go ahead, use and abuse. BTW, Twenty Questions is being marketed as a simple Q&A site that anyone can use, which is what I'm doing, but after I joined I also noticed that there are indications that it may evolve into a dating site, which is not what I'm using it for.

Anyways, to get back to your original question: Does Blindside swear now? I think that you're probably referring to the song "Hooray, It's L.A.", on Blindside's latest CD, "About a Burning Fire". To help the discussion, here are the lyrics:

You and me we should get out of this town tonight
Cause everywhere I put my foot down
It's just another concrete block waiting for me

And it's a...
(dark cold night now)
And it's a...
(dark cold night)

My spirit is freezing to ice in this heat

Could you turn around and say
Hooray, it's a beautiful day L.A.
(yeah come on)
But now it's time
To pack your bags and go
Hooray it's a beautiful day L.A.
But I think I'll be gone today

I've been traveling at the speed of gasoline
And stopped by the color of electricity
We've been trying for too long
To cover up his fingerprints
From a distant past

And it's a...
(dark cold night now)
And it's a...
(dark cold night)

My spirit is freezing to ice in this heat

Could you turn around and say
Hooray, it's a beautiful day L.A.
(yeah come on)
But now it's time
To pack your bags and go
Hooray it's a beautiful day L.A.
But I think I'll be gone today

And it's a...
(damned cold night now)
And it's a...
(damned cold night now)
My spirit is freezing to ice in this heat

Could you turn around and say
Hooray, it's a beautiful day L.A.
(yeah come on)
But now it's time
To pack your bags and go
Hooray it's a beautiful day L.A.
But I think I'll be gone today

Well, the lyrics definitely contain the word "damned". I can confirm this myself, having listened to the track multiple times. But the answer isn't as simple as that. First off, according to the website from which I ganked these lyrics, the lyrics in parentheses above are not sung by Blindside vocalist Christian Lindskog, but rather by guest vocalist Billy Corgan. Yes, Billy Corgan of Smashing Pumpkins fame is appearing as a quest on a Blindside album. According to Yahoo! Launch here,

Former Smashing Pumpkins and Zwan frontman Billy Corgan plays guitar on a track on the new album by Swedish rock band Blindside. The band's manager, Tim Cook, told Billboard.com, "Corgan heard a song, flipped out, and asked if he could play guitar on the record." Corgan recorded his parts for the track, "Hooray, It's L.A.," at his studio in Chicago, where he was joined by Blindside guitarist Simon Grenehed.

But I myself am doubtful of the claim that Billy Corgan sang anything on the track. For one thing, I've listened, and the vocals of the lines in parentheses above are basically indistinguishable from Christian's usual vocals. For another, as the Yahoo! Launch indicates (and I believe the liner notes corroborate), Corgan laid down guitar tracks for the song, and there is no mention of contributing vocals.

So, there is the possibility that Blindside itself didn't sing those vocals. But that seems to be getting off on a technicality -- those lines do appear in the song, so Blindside should take responsibility for them. But there's another question still to be asked -- is Blindside's use of the term "damned" an actual example of swearing? Steph, you and I both know that some words we consider curse words -- for example, "hell" and "damn" -- have honest as well as vulgar usages, while others are completely vulgar. I'm not sure which way this specific example goes. I've heard some people claim that this is an honest use of the word "damned", using nighttime in LA as a metaphor for the world, and thus making the acceptable Christian statement that this world is damned. Christian is obviously making reference to Christ earlier in the song, as well as the world's willful ignorance of Him: "We've been trying for too long / To cover up his fingerprints / From a distant past".

I can't say for sure, but I have great respect for Christian both as a musician and as a fellow Christian. So I'm willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. Make your own call; it's not clear-cut either way.

MLB Playoff Race Update

According to RIOT Baseball, there are only six teams in the National League that are still in control of their playoff fates right now -- including the CUBS! Check the stats out here. Of course, the three division leaders -- Atlanta, St Louis, and Los Angeles -- are in control. The two top contenders for the wild card, Chicago and San Diego, are also still in control, since the Padres have enough games with the Cubs to make up the difference between the two teams. Surprisingly, the last team still in control are the Florida Marlins, who are currently one game under .500 and supposedly behind both the Phillies and Giants in the wild card race! I would bet that if you were to check the Marlins' schedule, they just happen to have a lot of games still left against both the Cubs and Padres. . . Yep. Check it out here. Six games against the Cubs, three against the Padres. Six games against the NL East-leading Braves probably helps also.

Of course, this doesn't mean that only those six teams have chances at the playoffs anymore. What it means is that every other team in the NL has no guarantee of making the playoffs, even if they win all of their games. But on the other hand, no team has been eliminated yet from any of the races.

The AL races aren't so clear yet. Nine teams are still in control of their fates -- New York, Boston, Baltimore, Minnesota, Cleveland, Chicago, Oakland, Texas, and Anaheim. And here, as in the NL, no one has been eliminated from any race yet.

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Orfyn in 94.7 The Zone's Next Big Thing Contest

From Orfyn (sorry about the Caps; I guess they're really happy about this):


THE TWO WEBSITES ARE www.purevolume.com/orfyn AND www.myspace.com/orfyn.


SEE YOU AT THE ROCK SHOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Croatia lays claim to a couple records

Check it out here. That's right -- if you ever fall down the world's deepest hole and survive, one of the world's largest colonies of subterranean leeches will finish the job.

Bucking the Trend

How would you feel if your demographic was calculated to be the least likely to vote in your county?

Worst Textbooks Ever

I know that I found a few errors in my textbooks while I was in school, but nothing compared to this.

Hawk Nelson as The Who

Tooth and Nail band Hawk Nelson will be playing as The Who in an upcoming episode of American Dreams. Story here.


Yes, I've been bad at updating this blog. But it's because of a good thing -- I've been very busy at work. I'll try to see what I can find to post today, though . . .

Oh, and yeah, this weekend isn't going to be too much better for the blog, since I'm headed out to Nashville. Anyone have any suggestions for what to do? There are plans to hit the Corvette plant/museum in Bowling Green, KY, and I'm also going to a Martyr AD/Haste the Day/Stretch Arm Strong concert, but I think I'm going to have some other free time.

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

"Swift Boat Veterans For Truth" Ad

Check out this political ad, put together by Swift Boat Veterans for Truth. You may want to check out their website, but I'm not able to access it right now.

Missing Christian Music Artists

Wandering through the internet while waiting for my SQL to run, I discovered this webpage, which keeps track of former/current Christian music artists that seem to have fallen off the map. It's not completely accurate (for example, I know that Ghoti Hook's final show was Cornerstone 2002, not 2003), but it's answered a couple of my questions. For example, Scott Siletta (from Plankeye and Fanmail) now owns his own record label, Vanishing Point Records, which I will have to look up. Beanbag disbanded because of a severe touring accident. Considering Lily disbanded way back in 1999. Nick Radovanovic, the awesome guitarist from Hangnail, has gone on to become drummer for Seattle-based band Acceptance. Luna Halo is a partial incarnation of Reality Check. Seven Day Jesus split up a long time ago, and members have since played in Bleach, Plankeye, and the OC Supertones. Pete Stewart is now the lead singer for Marcos's new band, The Accident Experiment. Stereo Motion is no more.

Still no info on Ted from EDL, though . . . He seems to have completely disappeared.

UPDATE: I decided to look up Tedd Cookerly from EDL. Found this interview, undated. Also found this cached Xanga site which shows that around February of this year, Tedd still existed. Besides this, I know that he was aradio DJ in Ohio for a while, but ranting_saint told me while at Cornerstone that he suddenly disappeared from the station, and an explanation was never provided. . .


Monday, August 02, 2004

Coolest music sites on the Net

Just this past week, I found a couple really cool music sites, Audioscrobbler and last.fm. They're closely related, and in fact share the same user database. Basically, what the two sites do is keep track of the music you're listening to, and make suggestions on new music that you may be interested in. Last.fm provides a better user interface, and also provides the option of listening to streaming audio of suggested tracks. Audioscrobbler provides a plug-in for various audio programs, including Windows Media Player and iTunes.

Anyways, what the sites do is keep a simple track database that allows an algorithm to estimate a person's listening habits. There are three ways for a user to edit the track database: (1) manually add tracks by going to the track webpage in last.fm (for example, "Always" by the Newsboys) and clicking on the add button; (2) listening to the track in a media player with the Audioscrobbler plugin installed; or (3) listening to the track on one of last'fm's stations and reacting to it (either by listening through it, skipping it, or banning it). You can check out my stats here -- most popular bands, most popular tracks, and last ten tracks listened to.

The algorithm then takes all user track databases and compares them in order to determine 'neighbors'. A person's neighbors are those whose track databases are most similar to that person's own database. For example, my closest neighbors right now are thetamind and nshane. As you can see by their stats, thetamind listens primarily to softer Christian alernative (well, softer than me, at least), while nshane listens to harder music, primarily secular but some Christian stuff. My full neighbors list can be seen on my stats page.

From neighbors, the algorithm is able to do a couple things. First, a customized radio station is created on last.fm, pulling tracks from one's neighbor's track databases. Second, individual track recommendations are made by triangulating based on neighbors -- if there is a music track listed on many of your neighbor's track lists but not on yours, there is a good chance that it is a new track to you that you will like.

CHECK IT OUT! Join if you can, and then add me as your friend. And let me know that you've joined the site -- it seems like I'm not notified when someone adds me as a friend, so I won't know you've joined unless you send me some sort of message.

Once I understand what Musicbrainz does, I'll probably write a post on that, too.