Make any song swing

Take a song, time-stretch the first half of each beat and time-shrink the second half – and what you get is a remarkable swing version. Some examples:

Daft Punk’s “Around the World”


“Every breath you take” by the Police

More examples – including a link to the source code so you can do it yourself (to any song).

The basic laws of human stupidity

From this article comes a nice, succinct definition of “stupidity”:

The Third Basic Law assumes, although it does not state it explicitly, that human beings fall into four basic categories: the helpless, the intelligent, the bandit and the stupid. It will be easily recognized by the perspicacious reader that these four categories correspond to the four areas I, H, S, B, of the basic graph (see below).


If Tom takes an action and suffers a loss while producing a gain to Dick, Tom’s mark will fall in field H: Tom acted helplessly. If Tom takes an action by which he makes a gain while yielding a gain also to Dick, Tom’s mark will fall in area I: Tom acted intelligently. If Tom takes an action by which he makes a gain causing Dick a loss, Tom’s mark will fall in area B: Tom acted as a bandit. Stupidity is related to area S and to all positions on axis Y below point O.

A stupid person is a person who causes losses to another person or to a group of persons while himself deriving no gain and even possibly incurring losses.

When confronted for the first time with the Third Basic Law, rational people instinctively react with feelings of skepticism and incredulity. The fact is that reasonable people have difficulty in conceiving and understanding unreasonable behaviour. But let us abandon the lofty plane of theory and let us look pragmatically at our daily life. We all recollect occasions in which a fellow took an action which resulted in his gain and our loss: we had to deal with a bandit. We also recollect cases in which a fellow took an action which resulted in his loss and our gain: we had to deal with a helpless person. We can recollect cases in which a fellow took an action by which both parties gained: he was intelligent. Such cases do indeed occur. But upon thoughtful reflection you must admit that these are not the events which punctuate most frequently our daily life. Our daily life is mostly, made of cases in which we lose money and/or time and/or energy and/or appetite, cheerfulness and good health because of the improbable action of some preposterous creature who has nothing to gain and indeed gains nothing from causing us embarrassment, difficulties or harm. Nobody knows, understands or can possibly explain why that preposterous creature does what he does. In fact there is no explanation – or better there is only one explanation: the person in question is stupid.

Note that I’m in no way implying that I’m NOT stupid 🙂


It’s like, argh, you know?

Stating that she wasn’t in the best place right now, and that things have been sort of you know, Belmont resident Megan Slota announced Thursday that sometimes she just feels….

Due to a general sense of…well, it’s hard to explain, the 28-year-old dental hygienist reported that she just needed to work some stuff out, and that she would probably be a little I don’t know for a couple weeks or so.

“It’s not anybody’s fault, honestly,” said Slota, standing in her kitchen and holding a mug of tea with both hands. “Sometimes I just get like this where it’s like I’m not, I guess, whatever. We don’t have to get into it right now.”

Added Slota, “I’m really, like, argh, I don’t know.”

Ah, The Onion… 🙂

Web typography solved

When choosing a font for use on a website, you are restricted to one of the 15 or so “web fonts“. That sucks. The only way you can use a different font is by resorting to hacks such as Cufon, sIFR or FLIR.

But if you do that, you’ve only solved half the problem. You’re still in muddy waters regarding the licensing of the fonts you’re using, possibly opening yourself to future litigation. And, whether you choose Cufon, sIFR or FLIR, the text that’s in a different font will behave differently than ‘regular’ text. You can’t select it, copy it or edit it like ‘regular’ text. That’s because it’s not regular text. It’s  a Javascript image, Flash movie, or plain image – respectively. That sucks!

Fortunately, there’s a solution for that: the CSS3 @font-face tag. It allows you to set the font of any given text on your web page. If the user does not have the font you indicated, it will be downloaded and used. It even works cross-browser.

So only the legal issue remains. Obviously, you can’t redistribute high quality commercial fonts like Minion or ITC Franklin Gothic. The companies holding the rights won’t allow it, and probably rightfully so.

So what to do? As Mark Pilgrim so eloquently stated: Fuck the foundries. If we can’t legally use their fonts on a web page, then we’ll have to look for high quality fonts that we CAN use on a web page.

And that’s when I came across Font Squirrel, and I must say: I LOVE IT! Free high quality fonts that you can use on your website. 100% free for commercial use. No licensing issues! Just what web typography needed 🙂



The “Big Lie”

I read this quote today and it somehow reminded me about Fox News…

never allow the public to cool off; never admit a fault or wrong; never concede that there may be some good in your enemy; never leave room for alternatives; never accept blame; concentrate on one enemy at a time and blame him for everything that goes wrong; people will believe a big lie sooner than a little one; and if you repeat it frequently enough people will sooner or later believe it.

But the thing is, it’s not about Fox News, but from a psychological profile prepared during WW2 by the United States Office of Strategic Services.

Future is now: 3D printer makes human tissue and organs

”Scientists and engineers can use the 3-D bio printers to enable placing cells of almost any type into a desired pattern in 3-D,” said Murphy. “Researchers can place liver cells on a preformed scaffold, support kidney cells with a co-printed scaffold, or form adjacent layers of epithelial and stromal soft tissue that grow into a mature tooth. Ultimately the idea would be for surgeons to have tissue on demand for various uses, and the best way to do that is get a number of bio-printers into the hands of researchers and give them the ability to make three dimensional tissues on demand.”