June 2006 Archives

I'd Say Wow Sums It Up

I found this in my son's backpack the other day.

If you're having any trouble reading it, it says

I like my Dad.

My Dad is white.

I pretty much had the same reaction as his teacher.

I haven't had time to do an in-depth interview with him, but we did discuss it briefly and I'm happy and relieved to report the two sentences are not dependent on each other.

He wrote sentence #1 because I'm "nice".

He wrote sentence #2 because I'm "mostly white. And a little apricot."

He then confirmed that these were completely separate thoughts, and that he does not like me BECAUSE I'm mostly white or even a little apricot.

As far as the drawing goes, it's not even of me, it's of him looking at a boat. Which is bullshit, given that I was the star of both sentences.

It's fine, at least I have my new hip-hop name: Li'l Apricot.


For no real reason, I was thinking about Vincent Van Gogh's ear. I knew he had cut it off, but was I was having some trouble really finding solid details about the event.

Self-Portrait with Bandaged Ear

There also seemed to be some discrepency over whether he cut off his whole ear off, or just part of it.

After some digging, our old pal the internet provided the following from what seems to be a trustworthy Van Gogh site.

On the evening of 23 December 1888 Van Gogh and Paul Gauguin had an altercation in which Van Gogh is said to have threatened Gauguin with a knife. Later that evening Van Gogh returned to the "Yellow House" in Arles where he lived and mutilated himself.

Holding the open razor in his right hand, he had sliced through his left ear; starting high at the back and hacking downwards so that all the lower part of the ear had been chopped off. This had left part of the upper ear still attached as a hideous flap of flesh.

Van Gogh, then wrapped the ear in cloth and made his way to a favourite brothel where he presented this "present" to a prostitute. The police were called in and Van Gogh was subsequently hospitalized. The severed tissue of the ear was placed into a jar of alcohol in case it might be needed as evidence. Some months later it was thrown out.

They were even kind enough to provide the following visual aid illustrating the cut. (Apparently the self-portrait shows his right ear bandaged because he was painting his image from a mirror.)

And now we all know the story behind Van Gogh's ear. And the rude, ungrateful whore who didn't even keep it.

UPDATED - Derek wrote:

the article left out the part of why the two were fighting... the prostitute who van gogh attempted to give the ear to was a lady he was in love with, who also happened to be his cousin, who gauguin had been purchasing a physical relationship with. and the two (gauguin and van gogh ) were on an absinthe binge.

A Taste for Scotch


I like beer. I like wine. I'd like to like scotch, but I honestly find it repulsive.

I've been told it's an acquired taste, and I'm game to try and acquire it. I see no reason why I can't be a sophisticated bon vivant. (Except that I had to look up how to spell "bon vivant" and double check that I was even using it properly.)

Most importantly, I'm going to chart my "taste" for scotch. I'm curious to see how long it takes, will it be overnight or a slow crawl, etc... This is assuming I do acquire one at all.

One question is which would be the ideal starter scotch. There's a lot of choices out there. Suggestions are appreciated.

The comment board is NOW CLOSED.


Whenever I need a little break from the rock and roll, I turn to the fine people at Luxuria Music. I've been meaning to mention them for awhile. Their free streaming lounge music is the quickest way to swank things up that I know.

They describe LM as: "The perfect soundtrack for your sophisticated lifestyle, whether you're relaxing at home or trapped inside an office cube. Featuring outré lounge and Latin jazz, breezy swinging instrumentals and vocals, groovy 60's go-go,psychedelia, quirky oddities, retro pop and surf music."

I find it provides a pleasantly surreal soundtrack to just about any occasion.

They have a huge library with no commercials and there are several free streaming options on their home page. Check 'em out at luxuriamusic.com. (They also stream the station on their myspace page.)

A Fine Line

Grape Jell-O...
No one cares.

Grape Jell-Y...
Bring it on!

Like Jessica and Ashlee Simpson, it's a fine line.

Age/Hearing Check


This story made the rounds a few weeks ago. It's about a specific, annoying soundwave that most adult can't hear, and most teenagers can. Shopkeepers in London had been using the sound to keep teens out of their stores, then teens started using the sound as a ringtone to use in class that teachers couldn't hear. According to this other story the cut-off for hearing it is age 25.

Some people feel the ringtone aspect is impossible or a hoax due to cellphone speaker limitations. It's all interesting, but I'm more curious about the mp3s of this sound these articles link to and what you guys hear when you listen to them. (I strongly suggest you lower your volume first and ease into them.)

Let's call this one from the BBC story: #1.
(All it sounds like is ambient street noise to me. Not annoying at all.)

and this one from the NPR story: #2.
(On laptop speakers, I hear some kind of faint whistle when I really crank it up, but nothing so annoying that it would keep me out of a store. On decent speakers it's unbearable.)

Give them a listen, then post your experience with each one along with your age.

The comment board is NOW CLOSED.

Updated - Ochen wrote:

Well, I heard nothing unusual in the first one, but did hear the “mosquito” in the second. Being the ever-skeptic, and as I believe that my 31-year-old hearing is pretty good, I thought you guys were full of it and that there wasn’t anything to hear in the first one.

I brought the mp3 into my handy-dandy spectral analyzer, and wouldn’t you know it, there was something there, hanging between 15000 Hz and 17000 Hz. I dropped the pitch about 5 percent and could hear it very clearly.

I then did an experiment to find out where my limit was. It’s right around 15000 Hz, but add ambient noise and it gets lost.

I posted a set of mp3s at http://www.ochenk.com/tones that go from 10000 Hz up to 18000 Hz. Every file is of the same volume, pure tone.

Find your limit.

Ochen K.

I can barely hear up to 16,000 hz on my decent computer speakers, definitely less on the laptop, but I still don't hear anything in #1. (Damn teenagers and their "hearing".)

Based on this older story about the tone, it sounds like mp3 #1 might be more accurate since people say it pulsates.


I don't know if the Amazing Sheep was actually amazing, (or even incredible) -- but I do think the time-lapse of it turned out to be pretty cool.

Unlike the Magic Rocks time-lapse, I controlled the light and camera movement a lot more on this one.

If you're late to this, it started here.


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