Monday, May 25, 2015

This Is Why You're Terrible With Names

from The Presurfer:

There is a very simple reason why it's so easy for the names of new acquaintances to slip right out of your head within moments of being introduced: Names are kind of meaningless. Memory experts say that the more pathways back to a memory you have, the easier it becomes to retrieve that memory, and this just doesn't often happen naturally with names.

Sure, there may be family history or a great deal of sentimental meaning behind a person's first name, but when you meet someone at a party, there's no readily apparent reason why this guy should be named Mike and that guy should be named Max. Names are completely arbitrary, and hold no specific information in them.


Sunday, May 24, 2015

Spend your sunday reading some of this:
The Digital Einstein Papers

The Digital Einstein Papers is a site by the Princeton University Press. It's an open-access site for The Collected Papers of Albert Einstein, the ongoing publication of Einstein's massive written legacy comprising more than 30,000 unique documents.

The site presents all 13 volumes published to date by the editors of the Einstein Papers Project, covering the writings and correspondence of Albert Einstein (1879-1955) from his youth to 1923.

Thanks to the Persurfer

Saturday, May 23, 2015

How Music Stimulates the Unconscious Mind

from Big Think:

Music plays with the brain in interesting ways. For instance, past studies have shown listening to a familiar, favorite song causes our brain to release dopamine — a chemical associated with pleasure and reward. However, some researchers believe music could be utilized to boost cognition in unconscious minds.

Alexandra Ossola from Braindecoder writes about the curious case of seven-year-old Charlotte Neve. In 2012, she had a had a brain hemorrhage while she was sleeping. Surgeons were able to stop the bleeding, but she had several seizures after and slipped into a coma. Ossola writes about her astounding recovery:
“Charlotte's mother, Leila, was at her bedside listening to the radio when Adele's hit 'Rolling In The Deep' started playing. Leila and Charlotte had sung the song together many times and, as Leila sang along to her unconscious daughter, she saw Charlotte smile. The doctors were stunned. Over the next two days, Charlotte recovered more of her faculties — she could talk, focus on colors, and get out of bed.”

It's uncertain if this recovery was caused by the music or if the entire thing was just a coincidence. However, it has become the basis of a recent study where researchers played music to 13 patients — all in comas for different reasons. The researchers split the patients into two groups; in one, the researchers played some of the patient's preferred music and in the other, researchers played a continuous sound to act as the control. Then, the researchers measured the patients' brains with an electroencephalograph (EEG) while they called the patient's name.

The researchers wrote in their paper:
“The cerebral response to the patient's first name was more often observed in the music condition, than in the control condition.”
These results have led researchers to demonstrate “that music has a beneficial effect on cognitive processes of patients with disorders of consciousness. The autobiographical characteristics of music, that is, its emotional and personal relevance, probably increase arousal and/or awareness.”

It's possible that this kind of familiar stimuli could help victims with brain trauma repair certain neural pathways. Past instances have also shown calling a patient's name shows increased brain activity. But it's uncertain. The unconscious mind is such a mystery — hopefully, one researchers will be able to figure out how to repair in the future.

Read more about the study at Braindecoder.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Classical paintings inserted into contemporary
urban settings

from Dangerous Minds:

Ever wanted to see William-Adolphe Bouguereau’s “Le Chant des Anges” or his “The Youth of Bacchus” painting peacefully hanging out in a subway, or Luca Cambiaso’s “Venus and Adonis” on a park bench seen from the perspective of city bus? Well now you can with the help of Ukrainian artist’s Alexey Kondakov‘s ongoing series “Art History in Contemporary Life.”

While some of the classical paintings are playful and whimsical in their new environments, there are other paintings that suggest sadness and pain when placed in a contemporary setting. Some of the paintings photoshopped into the subways and buses look as though they’re drunkards and / or addicts who are being helped by kind, cherubic strangers. They simply take on a whole new meaning or story.









via Beautiful Decay

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Johnny Rotten speaks at a bookstore
around the corner from here.

from Dangerous Minds:

Rock and roll’s turd in the punchbowl: An interview with John Lydon

John Lydon’s new memoir Anger is an Energy: My Life Uncensored is his second go round at chronicling his thoroughly fascinating life. His first Rotten: ‘No Irish, No Blacks, No Dogs was published over 20 years ago so there was much new life to be written about and additonal elaboration and re-evaluation of his early years from the vantage point of now. He’s mellowed and aged quite nicely. Lydon has gone from rotten to nicely fermented. From snarly whine to barley wine.

In this interview conducted at my favorite bookstore in the world, The Strand, Buzzfeed Books editor Isaac Fitzgerald and Lydon have a grand old time shooting the shit as Johnny occasionally takes a chug from a bottle of cognac.

Anger is an energy. It really bloody is. It’s possibly the most powerful one-liner I’ve ever come up with. When I was writing the Public Image Ltd song ‘Rise’, I didn’t quite realize the emotional impact that it would have on me, or anyone who’s ever heard it since. I wrote it in an almost throwaway fashion, off the top of my head, pretty much when I was about to sing the whole song for the first time, at my then new home in Los Angeles. It’s a tough, spontaneous idea. ‘Rise’ was looking at the context of South Africa under apartheid. I’d be watching these horrendous news reports on CNN, and so lines like ‘They put a hotwire to my head, because of the things I did and said’, are a reference to the torture techniques that the apartheid government was using out there. Insufferable. You’d see these reports on TV and in the papers, and feel that this was a reality that simply couldn’t be changed. So, in the context of ‘Rise’, ‘Anger is an energy’ was an open statement, saying, ‘Don’t view anger negatively, don’t deny it – use it to be creative.
A couple of observations: the fellow in the background, to Johnny’s right, looks a wee bit like a Madame Tussaud waxworks version of Mark E. Smith. And why is Lydon dressed like a sous chef?


Wednesday, May 20, 2015

The all-time best DEVO live recording.
found by Dangerous Minds - listen here now.

from Dangerous Minds


This is simply the best DEVO live recording out there. The sound is crystal clear, and the band is absolutely on fire during this 1978 performance at San Francisco’s Old Waldorf.

Terry Hammer was an audio engineer during the heyday of first wave punk in San Francisco. He maintains a mind-blowing YouTube channel upon which he has graciously decided to share dozens of live recordings he engineered for Bay Area radio stations KALX, KTIM, KSAN, KSJO, KUSF, and KSFS. Though it appears that Hammer was not the engineer on this particular live recording of DEVO, broadcast on KSAN on November 10th, 1978, he certainly had access to a low generation tape—and was kind enough to share it with the rest of us!



DEVO here are touring for their first album Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are DEVO!, and were a well-oiled machine at this point. Perhaps it was a desire to impress the West Coast punkers that has the group blasting through their songs at furious tempos, far more hectic than on their albums.

This is not the first time these recordings have been made public. Obviously they were on the KSAN airwaves, but then some enterprising bootleggers in the late ‘70s released the show under at least two different titles.





The sound here is much improved from those ratty bootleg LPs. This thing is phenomenal.

Check it out right here:



Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Technology's lost art: The ancient magic of the record label

from Dangerous Minds:


In our race to embrace new technologies much has been lost. During the 50s and 60s General Electric spokesman Ronald Reagan appeared regularly on American television declaring with godlike certainty “that progress is our most important product.” And we bought it. And we’re buying it still.

Until their recent resurgence, vinyl records were a thing of the past. Now it’s compact discs that are being phased out. DVDs and Blu-rays are next. The powers that be want us streaming data through the ether without the hassle or production costs of actually making something you can hold in your hand and own, not just store in a cloud somewhere. In our embrace of the new, faster, most convenient thing, we’ve lost a substantial amount of what we love about the things we love, the things that make our lives more beautiful. My Sonos streaming device is an ugly block of white plastic. My turntable, a Thorens with a beautiful wooden plinth, is a masterpiece of design and function, gorgeous to look at, soulful, unique. My record collection is not just, to my ears, a superior way to listen to music, it is a wonderland of marvelous sleeve art, label design and picture discs. All of which I can hold in my hands, all responding to gravity and easily handed off to a friend to appreciate as much as I do. No one ever comes into my home and asks to see my set lists on Deezer or flips through my Amazon cloud collection.

The phasing out of vinyl, CD, DVD, celluloid, happened so fast that a lot of people were caught by surprise. I own a vintage audio store and people are coming in on a regular basis to buy CD players because the local big box stores don’t sell them anymore. You might be able to find a shitty player that will shuffle dozens of CDs or some crappy all-in-one system. But a good single tray player with a decent digital audio chip is getting harder to find unless you move into expensive audiophile gear territory. If you told me even five years ago that CD players and CDs themselves would become collectible I would have laughed and said you were nuts. Guess what? Anyone want to buy a Suicide Commandos’ CD for $400. I got one.

The return of vinyl is wonderful for many of us. But the big three music corporations hate it. They’ve had to shift back to making stuff. And they have to pay a lot of people to make it. The new records sold in my store put scores of people to work, from the guys who make my record bins, to workers pressing the vinyl to the artists designing record jackets again. Add to that the truckers who move the vinyl, the folks in my store who sell it and homegrown turntable manufacturers like U-Turn who can’t keep up with production demands. All those people making livings thanks to vinyl. Not to mention, the musicians who now have more control over their product and profit when they produce their own records. Yes, a record costs much more than a CD to make or an MP3 to stream. But a record is something special to a bands’ fans. It is an artifact, a totem, something you hold close to your heart knowing that not everyone owns one of these slabs of black magic. With demand so high and current production so limited, every record made today is almost instantly collectible. You may be fine listening to iTunes or Amazon cloud, but vinyl is something you want to own. It is precious. It is art.

So that’s my vinyl rant. It was all leading up to sharing these beautiful 78rpm record labels produced in Britain between the years of 1898 and 1926. Enjoy them. And be happy that we may be seeing their like again, if not already.














More of these lovely labels can be viewed at Early 78s UK.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Is rap the most important music since 1960?
Scientists say they have proof - CNN

from CNN:
(CNN)Forget The Beatles and The Rolling Stones, the most important development in pop music in the past half century is hip-hop.

That's not an opinion, it's fact -- backed up by hard data, says a team of researchers from two London universities.

In a study published Wednesday in the journal Royal Society Open Science, the researchers say they threw out "musical lore and aesthetic judgment" in favor of scientific rigor.

"We had a sense that lots of people have opinions about popular music, but nobody has any objective evidence," said Armand Leroi, one of the study's authors.

Opinions vs. evidence
To gather that evidence, they used music recognition technology -- similar to what's in the apps SoundHound and Shazam -- to analyze more than 17,000 songs that made up 86% of the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 between 1960 and 2010.

The researchers took 30-second clips of each song and broke them down into topics relating to harmony and timbre, like "major chords without changes" and "guitar, loud, energetic."

Teaming up with the Internet music site, the researchers then studied how the different topics fit into different genres and styles, and how their popularity rose and fell over the decades.

"Everybody thinks the best music was produced when they were 17 years old. We wanted to do something better than that," Leroi, a professor of evolutionary biology at Imperial College London, told CNN.

Pop music became more diverse, not less
Here are some of the most interesting findings of the study:

• The rise of rap music and related genres appears to be "the single most important event that has shaped the musical structure of the American charts" in the period the research covered.

• Despite talk of a "British invasion," bands like The Beatles and The Rolling Stones didn't set off the revolution in American music in 1964. But they did benefit from it and "fanned its flames."

• Although many people complain that pop music has gotten more and more samey, diversity actually increased in the '80s and '90s as hip-hop emerged and flourished. The researchers said they found "no evidence for the progressive homogenization of music in the charts."

• The low point for variety was in the early 1980s, when genres like new wave, disco and hard rock dominated.

Books, paintings are next
Leroi said he expects this study -- which he worked on with Matthias Mauch from Queen Mary University of London -- to be the first of many in an emerging field examining the evolution of different cultures through data.

People are already applying similar methods to digitized books, he said, and paintings are also likely to be fair game through image recognition technology.

"We will be able to reconstruct the history of art and develop a mathematical theory of its evolution, just as scientists have done for the history of life," Leroi said.

But he acknowledges there are some aspects of culture that the technology can't reach -- at least for now.

"What we can't do with a computer is understand the meaning of the music to us," he said.

'Innovations of funk'
The impact of hip-hop cannot be under-estimated, said music journalist Dorian Lynskey. "It redefines what counts as a pop song and what elements you can use: the rapping on one level takes you away from the need for vocal melodies, while the production on the other is more about loops than chords and sampling.

"Hip-hop us a realization of how James Brown saw music, which is that it's about the beats and grooves rather than chords and harmonies. It's the realization of the innovations of funk."

he study by the researchers also identified three key years in which music evolved the most: 1964, 1983 and 1991. Lynskey said that for him, the last of these three years was the most exciting. "I think 1991 was such a diverse year for albums: You have 'Achtung Baby' by U2, which is the sound of a big mainstream stadium act radically overhauling its sound, you've got 'Nevermind' (Nirvana) which sees alternative underground music suddenly becoming a big seller, continuing to this day.

"Then there are these genre-mixing albums, 'Screamadelica' (Primal Scream), 'Foxbase Alpha' (St. Etienne) and 'Blue Lines' (Massive Attack) which are all empowered by sampling and new technology, and the idea that your record collection can be edited and merged to form something new. Along with 'Loveless' by My Bloody Valentine -- these albums are not just collections of classic songs, they're about experiments and expanding the parameters -- those records spawned so much."

Sunday, May 17, 2015

A short for your sunday

This movie was shot during our 20 days trip to Antarctica in December 2014 to January 2015.

[They] started from Ushuaia in Argentina and went to Port Williams in Chile, rounded Cape Horn and crossed the Drake Passage towards the Melchior Islands in Antarctica. [They] spent 16 days in the Antarctic and got to experience the most amazing scenery and wildlife before return[ing] back to Ushuaia.

Friday, May 15, 2015

MY RULES book signing and GEF design PIZZA event!
TONIGHT in Los Angeles !!!

Click for more Event INFO

In case it's not obvious, we will have copies of the 2nd printing of MY RULES the book for sale tonight, and i'll be there to sign them for you.

There will also be this funny, parody, limited edition T-Shirt,
with it's own Pizzanista Box available! (click to see details)


Click for more Event INFO

Click for more Event INFO

Click for more Event INFO

Here's a cool clip of our hosts showing you their spot and some other points of interest for them around town w/food.

Jeff Ho, my son, seated on either side of me as well as Lance Mountain, Salman, Price, and I testing the recipe last month - it's DOPE!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

SkateBoarding Hall of Fame induction ceremony
TONIGHT in Costa Mesa


Honored to have shot these folks when i did...

Duane Peters

Chris Miller

Neil Blender

Cara beth Burnside as a little kid

Ballots went out to nearly 400 qualified representatives from all eras of skateboarding history to vote for their choice for the Class of 2015 Hall of Fame inductions. We're happy to report the results after a week of vote collection!

2015 Inductees:
1960s Brian Logan
1970s Era One - Henry Hester
1970s Era Two - Duane Peters
1980s Era One - Neil Blender
1980s Era Two - Chris Miller
1990s John Cardiel
1970s Female - Robin Logan
1980s Female - Cara-Beth Burnside
1990s Female - Elissa Steamer

2015 Icon Awards: TBA

We hope you can join us TONIGHT at the Westin South Coast Plaza Hotel in Costa Mesa, CA for the 6th Annual Skateboarding Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony.

For tickets or hotel rooms visit:


Executive Director Emeritus | IASC
International Association of Skateboard Companies

Tuesday, May 12, 2015