From the category archives:


Our next car

April 2, 2008

Daniel just put a down payment on our next car, an Aptera. Here is the note he sent to our family: After close to four years of being a single-car household, Roger and I have decided to reserve an Aptera in hopes it will be our second car in 2009. The plug-in hybrid model costs […]


iPhone post

July 1, 2007

I am sitting in O’Hare Airport waiting for my flight back to Los Angeles, practicing typing on my new iPhone. Slowly, but surely. Much to report on my return. Tomorrow will be my first day on the job as Chair of the UCLA Music Department and am looking forward to it. Be back soon!

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Instant Messaging

June 6, 2007

Yes, my spell check freaks out when I type “messenging.” [No wonder, it’s messaging silly. I created a verb out of Instant Messenger, and what the messenges sent were messenges. Duh…] I celebrate instant messaging. My parents are always on IM, as are 10 other of my good friends at any one time. It doesn’t […]


Music textile

May 16, 2007

“Music textiles” is a large tactile interface for playing electronic music. It was developed by Vincent Roudaud and Maurin Donneaud. My fantasy runs wild: I imagine a new line of clothes where each piece of clothing is programmed to make a sound when touched. I could imagine my pants being a soft rain that fades […]


The new corkage fee?

January 15, 2007

The tradition of a restaurant charging you a fee when you bring your own wine to their establishment (using their glasses and not buying their wine) is commonly known as “corkage.” As you wine drinkers know, many vintners are turning to screw caps, citing the high failure rate of corks as their motivation. What do […]

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Brain Age

January 3, 2007

Despite lusting after all of the items enumerated below, what do we get? Our dear friends Damon and Jane gifted us “Brain Age”– game software for the Nintendo DS. Not just another video game, software to help us aging baby boomers keep our brain muscle. There is no lengthy exegesis about the concept of the […]


Tracked migration patterns

December 18, 2006

This just in from Professor Barbara Block at Stanford’s Hopkins Marine Station has been tracking migration patterns of various creatures over the Pacific Ocean. The image was seductive. There is so much information in it. I didn’t see the key to which colors are birds and which are whales and which are seals, but […]


Speech Accent Archive

November 28, 2006

Visit Speech Accent Archive for an overwhelming study and aural museum of speech accents.


7000 cassettes

November 1, 2006

Today Tom threw away 7000 cassettes of music. These were cassettes of music put ON RESERVE for UCLA undergraduate music majors required to listen to them for their music history classes or music theory classes. I was called in because there was an entire box of cassettes from classes I taught in the 1980s. There […]


It is always interesting to me to see how sound effects the world around us. Here is an experiment called a Ruben’s Tube.