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New Music is not always new if one is describing an artist on their third release but with Shiny Toy Guns, it can sure appear that way. On the appropriately  junior release by Shiny Toy Guns, titled III,  STG returns to what their actual roots were back on the first release 2006 and even before that (if some of the band members can go back that far.) It seems a new release returned its second (favorited by the fans) the return of Carah Faye and her voice shows on songs such as the lead-off single "Somewhere to Hide" and the wonderfully-hauntingly "Fading Listening." Lead singer Chad Petree does a wonderful job on "Carrie," a personal favorite of mine. It's alternative but you can add many sub-genres after that: Alt-rock, alt-pop, alt-synth, alt-punk, alt-whatever. To me, it is one of the strongest releases of 2012 and STG's best release, like ever. Go. Buy. It. Now. 

Stream III from S-T-G via P.V.

New Propulsion 
System via Egypt.

Speaking of new, NASA's cancelation of their Space Shuttle program has cause a flurry of new space propulsion technologies in the world today. 
One of those proposed space systems is based on quantum theory that uses no fuel. Developed by an 19-year old student Aisha Mustafa from Egypt’s Sohag University, it exploits the quirky laws of quantum physics inside Vacuum energy; energy that makes up 73% of the known Universe. Inside this vacuum energy are "virtual particles" that create and destroy each other in random fashion. Mustafa is betting on exploiting quantum effects involved in dynamic Casimir effect and the Casimiri-Polder force, which uses two silicon metallic plates in a vacuum. This set-up is very similar to what capacitors do but at a sub-atomic scale. The plates interact with the virtual particles in the quantum field and generate a force that attracts or repels depending on their arrangement. Mustafa intends to further study and develop the design so that it may be tested out.

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Tegan and Sara want you "Closer."

"I want you close, I want you
I won't treat you like you're typical." 

So says Tegan and Sara, the Canadian sisterly-duo who go all dance on us on their latest soon-to-be-released drop January 2013, 'Heartthrob.' Advising SPIN magazine in an article published yesterday, they realized it was time to shake things up. This is not the first time the sisters have done anything dance-y in the past, as they worked with DJ's Tiesto and Morgan Page for the house genre. But if this direction is any indication of where they want to move towards in the future, they seem to be going retro instead. The video for "Closer" below, uses spanx, grunge, karaoke, Dazed and Confused movie, and trampolines to produce a gender-neutral aesthetic of 'sheer' irrational sentimental fondness. So in honor of that, I decided to make this post slightly different and remember the blogs that had bad HTML code and colors everywhere. Cheers!

Return Notice: CPU's are non-replaceable. Non-returnable.

Speaking of going retro, it appears Intel is moving forward in making CPU's soldered to motherboards a thing of the future for desktops. This is not new as the the embedded processor was still around in desktops by the 1980's. Intel's next-generation Haswell CPU's are soon to launch and this would represent a change of focus for Intel. The follow-up for Haswell is Broadwell, a desktop CPU's that will be soldered directly to motherboards, and won't be easily upgrade-able for consumers. One reason that this change is happening is not because of consumer demand or even market supply. Intel's "tick-tock" processor line upgrades on a predictable annual schedule and Broadwell is to focus primarily on mobile computers like laptops and tablets. The thinking is that features will either be upgraded via software or "unlocked" using a special validation code. The death of the user-replaceable CPU might even merit cost-savings in terms of future replacements and environmental concerns. Link above.

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"Drive You Crazy"

Most things in life usually come in pairs but today's artists has decided to take in to threes'. Jenn Wasner is (was/still is?) the frontwoman of the indie-based group from Baltimore , Md., Wye Oak and a Flock of Dimes, and is part of a electronic-dance based project called Dungeonesse. When I saw her live earlier this year under a Flock of Dimes moniker, it was a little heavier than most of her Wye Oak material. Then the video "Drive You crazy" came out and it's a direction I never thought she would take. Collaborating with White Life’s John Ehrens, it's dance-y R+B, and pretty fun. Not sure what is going on in the video (but is that the point?) I mean, when you dance, do you know what's going on? The upper left picture is courtesy of Michael Crump in a low-light setting.
NIF'd Fusion

If the above post addressed that some things come in threes, then how about 192 times? The National Ignition Facility in Livermore, Calif., via NPR, brings the holy grail of energy to the forefront after years of development and billions of dollars spent. The process of nuclear fusion (opposite of Fission) is creating limitless energy, like what is found in the center of our Sun. So far, the research has had elusive results. After 3.5 years of laser testing, results have been inconclusive and people are wanting answers. NIF, as it is called, would create degrees of heat and pressure never before achieved in a lab. But NIF director Ed Moses advises that deadlines for discovering this type of energy are nearly irrelevant using CERN discovering the Higgs Boson as a highlighted point. Whatever the case maybe, achieving global security and understanding the universe seemed to top priority. And that is worth putting forth tax-payer funding on this project.

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I had an unexpected find when listening to the Echoes program #1238A. SHEL, four sisters born five years apart from Fort Collins, Colorado, bring new meaning to folk rock. It's not so much folk or rock but more like if Celtic, Bluegrass, dream-pop, and acoustic rock came together and decided to blend in and entirely create something new. Sarah, Hannah, Eva and Liza all bring different instruments and vocal patterns that is just not fair to hear when you consider their talented virtuoso of inspiration. There so many songs to choose to review from their catalog but if you want my top picks, they would be: "Paint my Life," "The Man Who Was a Circus," "When The Dragon Came Down," and a cover song of a famous heavy rock band that I will let you find out for yourself. Check out the stream below for more dreaminess. Peace!

SHEL streaming.

Unexpected collisions.

The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) has produced some surprising findings when a clash of protons clashed with each other, creating an entirely new set of particles that was theorized two years ago by Raju Venugopalan, a senior scientist at Brookhaven National Laboratory. The Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) team, lead by MIT physics professor Gunther Roland, whose group analyzed the collision data along with Wei Li, a former MIT postdoc, found that some particles formed a "quantum entanglement" resulting in particles going in the same direction, accounting for the correlation in their flight paths. The MIT heavy-ion group saw this pattern with heavy metals colliding with each other two years ago and now the same group sees it with proton-proton collisions, producing a quark-gluon plasma-like liquid, the hot soup of particles that existed for the first few millionths of a second after the Big Bang. The CMS team will continue its run in January 2013, to see if the effects seen in proton-proton and heavy-metal collisions are related.

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Flight Facilities take off with "Clair de Lune"

If flight is your fancy for today, then the posts on this date shall be interesting. First off it's a blast with an Australian-based electronic duo that combines 1970's disco with Daft Punk and Quincy Jones. They have a habit of using revolving female vocalists like Melbourne songwriter Giselle Rosselli and Christine Hoberg who sings the most current single "Clair De Lune" streamed in the above link. It is fitting, however, that any disco or dance that is produced in these musical pieces are equalized out by using melancholy-esque vocals and synth textures. So if you like to dance to slow-burn music, listen to the female-vocalist-of-the-day, and like supporting indie artists then Flight Facilities is your spoonful of Vegemite. (See, I can creatively melancholy too!)

If we are to take off from the music review into a machine review then one could take off into the next progression of human evolution. In today's machine post, Paul Davies, a British-born theoretical physicist, cosmologist, astrobiologist and Director of the Beyond Center for Fundamental Concepts in Science and Co-Director of the Cosmology Initiative at Arizona State University, advises that any space-exploration would have to be AI-enhanced machines. SETI (Search for advanced Extraterrestrial Intelligence) would even go further and explore non-habitable locations such as neutrino stars and black holes. Roger Launius of the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, however, advises it would be best to alter our own physiology rather than create one or have an A.I create one on its own. The article continues to stipulate that possibly the process of human evolution is a small, brief step to a more machine-like morphing into a new species. One can only speculate at this inflection point in time.

Human Species at an Evolutionary point in time.

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Top ten or 20 lists should be popping soon if not now, and on my list of top releases this year is School of Seven Bells' "Ghoststory." Filled with electro-dream pop and shoe-gazer moments, SVIIB (as they are known in stylized form), use several different synths and vocal textures to take you to a place far off. Which is not surprising as the band is named after a mythical school dedicated to pick-pocketing in the 1980's. The link below features the song 'Secret Days' via Stereo Gum and is enough to pick-pocket your mind for atmospheric goodness and delight. The picture above was taken by me at a concert I witnessed back in April 2012. The stage lighting tells the story at The Bottletree in Birmingham, AL.

Secret Days Stream via Stereo Gum

Did you ever get the feeling that in the past few years science fiction movies have portrayed robots and artificial intelligence as malevolent and malicious? That may not be far from the truth, according to Bryan Appleyard, a freelance writer in U.K. A chance encounter with Jaan Tallinn, the co-founder of Skype, took the previous thought to the next level and contemplated human extinction via A.I. and machines created by machines and not humans. Along with Ray Kurzweil of the Singularity Institute (SI), The Cambridge Group came about as well as Tallinn's point of view in regarding A.I. To put it succinctly, Appleyard uses the euphemism of writer Douglas Adams' "super-intelligent shade of the color blue," that A.I. machines would see us humans as aliens. Truer words have never been spoken.

God = Robot; Human = Threat


"...And I wouldn't catch you hung up on somebody that you [want] to know..." Adjusted lyrics to the song "Somebody I used To Know" by Gotye was a lyrical section sung by none other than Kimbra. A New Zealand born singer who has taken the world by storm; she has crossed jazz with Bjork-styled theatrics. Below is a video of her performing at the Austin City Limits festival last month, performing "Posse." She has eccentric tastes in fashion (but who doesn't) and she should be on some top lists at the end of this year. Her new album is out now, "Vows," and this link is at a Grooveshark page that streams more songs off her debut. Just know she be a crazy chic, yo.

Deep-learning is not usually applied to music overall but if one is searching for millions of songs in a few seconds, then it becomes a necessity. The link below describes how researchers from various educational departments have verified new and exciting ways and discovers in artificial intelligence that can seek out marketing strategies or reverse-language conversion. These artificial neural networks, as they are called, are comprised of many components and deliver more-than accurate results than any human today. For example, student team led by computer scientist Geoffrey E. Hinton used deep-learning technology to design software to locate molecules that might lead to new drugs. The team did this without prior knowledge of the contest and very little time to prepare. Welcome to the future.


Some would say that in order to achieve weirdness in the pop music world, all one needs to do is dress like Ke$ha (who I consider my guilty pleasure. Crazy true!). But what if one is not into the pop-culture world but is still full of some weird goodness? Then one would have Bat For Lashes. They (or 'she,' as it is the brainchild of Natasha Khan,) released a new album last month that is a very hauntingly piece of collections of music that is hard to define. This review does it more thoroughly. The sampler below speaks for  itself. It should make top lists this year for best album of the year. This is THE call to buy it, man.

Streaming Sampler for 'The Haunted Man.'

Recently announced, but like the preceding article in this blog post, it has also been available for some time. Flexible, plastic-based, smartphones. They have been in the works for years as this article and the article below discuss and speculate. Samsung is the company and will not comment on the specific technology used or the exact date they are being released. Sony and LG have been working on this type of technology for years and are still in the prototype stage due to production costs. Will Samsung suffer the same fate? one will know during the first or second quarter of 2013.

Samsung Goes Flexible


In honor of the festivities, a post is being made for science as Cara Santa Maria and ThanksGEEKing, The Huffington Post Senior Science Editor, here. In the video, she talks about who inspired her in science. She asked readers who inspired them to become geeky in science. Who inspired you?


Apparently Fiona Apple is having a record-breaking media-news year. Peek-a-Boo concerts during the first-half the year after being reclusive the past several years, a new album dropped right after that with a title that is as long as this paragraph, stopped for Hashish in Texas, canceling her most recent tour over a dying dog, and this little gem. A supposed "leak" of her new single off the soundtrack of the Knocked-Up-esque film, 'This is 40.' It is catchy as well as NSFW, so please turn your speakers up! "I'm here because of what I write. Obviously, I must know something." - Fiona Apple. Awesome Sauce below!

An Apple sings for a 'Dull Tool.'

Child prodigies in music are not as easy as one would think, but they are more abundant than child prodigies in electronics. Especially if they are in a village that has electricity once a week in Sierra Leone. Meet DJ Focus. Also known as Kelvin Doe, a 16 year old child prodigy making FM transistor radios, generators, and batteries out of spare parts of various electronic items found in, among all places, waste baskets. In the video above right, is an inspiring video of Kelvin visiting the MIT campus to earn formal training about electronic and engineering technology as he had no formal experience with it before. There is also a non-profit that one can donate too to help bring more prodigies like DJ Focus to the forefront. It is a Crowdrise campaign. Link below left.

MIT; "Sierra Leone" style.


Diamonds via Zola Jesus

Nika Roza Danilova is the real name of an artist who has jesus in her title. Zola Jesus to be exact. On last year's release 'Conatus', the operatic voice behind this woman produced the lo-fi cloak of her earliest recordings, an indie-girl-gone-goth transformation that continues to this day. Yesterday, I had a chance to see Rihanna live in London, U.K. on Youtube. Danilova doesn't quite turn "Diamonds" into a Zola Jesus song here, but then again, I rather hear her singing it than Rihanna. Instead, of a pop-induced stupor, this multi-layered cover reinforces the notion of how pop music has suffered recently. Her "Diamonds" should be a top 40 hit. Oh wait. On second, thought. I rather have a gloomy non-40 hit. It sets her apart from Rihanna. Check the song out above. Winning! ^.^

At this year's Economist Innovation Awards, Elon Musk of Space X slipped more details about his "Hyper-loop" high-speed transportation system. He described the concept for the first time as a cross between a Concorde jet and a railgun (What's a railgun?.) During his acceptance speech, Musk explained that, in order to be worth while, the technology must go beyond current transportion methods by being much faster and cheaper while remaining weather and crash proof. Musk further hinted that the Hyperloop (Hyperloop Theory explained.) transport would leave as you arrived to board and it may sound crazy, but there was a time he talked this way about commercial spaceflight.


MNDR is not Madonna. Nor is it an album title. It's a person. A girl, actually (with an occasional help from a guy - that's not important.) What is important is that she is Amanda Warner, originally from Cali and now New York, and a future-pop artist. Not that she came out recently, but after seeing her live earlier this year with The Ting Tings, I want to see her headline a show. She is weird but good. Poppy but not mainstream. Not sure where to begin with her. Try the link below that streams her new album 'Feed Me Diamonds' via SPIN. Or her video 'Cut Me Out.' Both are 80's dance goodness upgraded for the current generation.

'Feed Me Diamonds' album stream

'Cut Me Out' via Youtube
Using energy in reading this blog post takes certain pathways in your brain. Researchers, however, were unable to pinpoint those exact pathways until now. Karl Deisseroth, MD, PhD, a professor of bio-engineering and of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Stanford University and postdoctoral scholar Melissa Warden, PhD, published an article in Nature on Nov. 18th about using optogenetics (channeling channelrhodopsin proteins in green algae), something he developed years ago during his research. By highlighting the neuronal pathways in the pre-frontal cortex, one can now "light" their way to see what pathways are activated during depression, motivation, or concentration. By doing this, one can now target those pathways with specific medications or psychological methodologies. It is truly illuminating pathways through the brain. See the link below for more.


I thinking I found the answer to the latest album titles' question, "Will Happiness Find Me?" That answer would be Maria Minerva and her latest drop earlier this year on Aug. 28th. Also known as Maria Juur, this Estonian-born, U.K.-based indie musician has a unique taste in music. The "Fire" single down below is like a down-tempo version of what U.S. R + B would be like if one was studying. Or writing. Hmm...wait. She just recently graduated with a B.A. So, one could say this music for her and all other brainiacs. Take a listen below and tell me what you think.

Stream Maria Minerva featuring Chase Royal, "Fire"
On "Stuff You should Know at Stitcher Radio, the question 'How close are we to holographic environments?' is discussed. Star Trek, The Next Generation, was famous for its holodeck, an immersive virtual environment that could be any space an individual wanted. Thanks to telemersion technology built for business conferencing, we’re starting to get close to that virtual environment after all. Listen at the link below. Run-time: 24:22.

Holographic Environments


Music and electronics go together in this day and age like Auto-tune and singing, or something like that. Meet Holly Herndon. A young electronica artist getting an advanced degree in the repertoire of machine music. Since the study of music technology is lost on the general audiences and audiences are dumbed down to unoriginal DJ's playing repetitious beats, Holly comes along (Tennessee to Germany to California) to enhance this type of genre where dancing heads can meet digital intellectuals. It's digital sweetness. Check her out below! 00101011 00110001
Ones computer maybe single, dual, or even 8-core. But a 64-core super computer? IBM, Microsoft, or not even the current supercomputer - The OakRidge 'Titan' - are in possession of a supercomputer that is affordable. At only $99 USD, the 'Para||e||a' supercomputer by Adapteva, this device can crunch most anything that uses the C/C++ languages. At 28 nanometers and running on just two watts, it is the future of high-efficiency, low-cost computing. Check out the link for more and a video below on how it can run T.V. programs as well as the web.


An up and coming band that is visiting my hometown this month is The Sexual Side Effects. I would describe them a cross between psychedelic David Bowie and an indie version of Sonic Youth (if Sonic Youth couldn't be any more indie.) The link below provides an album for only $5 US. It's a band worth checking out as their shows are fiery. (Literally, an amp caught on fire in one of their shows earlier this year.)

Researchers at Georgia Tech University have actually been able to program a robot to do certain tasks without the need to program the robot. It appears the robot uses a combination if imaging and sensors similar to what the Microsoft Kinect uses. The basic use of programming languages would have to be inputted in, of course, but after simple subroutines are initialized, the robot can do tasks based on simple hand motions and voice commands. It is powered by two Quad-Core i7 Xeon processors (8 cores) , 24 GB's of memory, and the ROS (Robot Operating System.)


Today's post is all about not being a machine. Except we are. Unless, of course, this band has anything to say about it. Meet Touche. Pronounced tü-ˈshā. A rebel call for those humans who feel inferior to technology or so says Alex Lily, part of the group. This is a remix, so it is very bouncy but it does incorporate the very technologies the band preaches against. Touche. Ha!

Good news for those who are part of the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Life (or SETI.) the Allen Array has receive a very generous donation from a chief Qualcomm scientist to enhance the antennas picking up radio signals. This will double the channels searching ET life and use the latest computing technologies to differentiate signals at an even fast rate. The link below explains more.


This is the future of music. She is a 20-something UK artist who adds 1980's beats w/ 1990's R&B sounds and 21st Century technology. Her stage name is Charli XCX (pronounced Charley XX) and her most recent mixtape, which you can download below, provide snippets of what she has to offer. I've known of her music for most of 2012 and I am not disappointed. I hope you aren't either. Please comment on what you think of her. Caution: Parental Advisory. Thanks!

Download Here for the Mixtape
Today's machine thoughts will be centered on the basic concepts of digital storage in a computing device. My take on this is mostly semantics. If one has to use a very basic analogy than this would be it: A hard drive is like a bookshelf. If one has more gigabytes or terabytes, then one can store more "books." Memory is equivalent to what you can access at the moment - A piece of paper to the nearest magazine. Memory sizes can range from megabytes to gigabytes for most consumers in most devices. If you have any questions about this, please leave comments.

Digital storage basics, Part 1: Internal storage vs. memory
Kilobyte (KB or kB): By general definition, one kilobyte is 1,024 bytes. Megabyte (MB): By general definition, 1 megabyte is 1,024,000 bytes. Similarly, it can also be understood as 1,000,000 bytes. Gigabyte (GB): By general definition, 1 gigabyte is 1,000,000,000 bytes.


This section will be my reviews of the music of today and tomorrow that I listen to. It will fulfill the creative side of my "machine."

My first post will be a small review of the upcoming An_Omen EP on Nov. 13th from a side-project of Trent Reznor called 'How to Destroy Angels.' It is brooding cross-compilation of The Social Network soundtrack and The Fragile CD. Keep It Together is the lead single and Trent's wife, the lovely Mariqueen Maandig-Reznor, who does a nice soft intro on the EP. After this song, it is hard to pick a favorite. Beware though; the bass is present in all songs.

How To Destroy Angels - An_Omen EP
This section will be my thoughts on the machine itself. From computers, technology, and software; it will fulfill the analytical side of my "machine."

My first post of my analytical "machine" will be a link to an article from fame MIT philosopher Noam Chomsky from The Atlantic. In the piece he discusses how artificial intelligence went awry. It is a beast of an article in The Atlantic. 14 pages with over 10,300+ words. Not for the faint of heart. To sum it up in one sentence per Chomsky, "To Neuroscience and Computer Science: You are doing it wrong. You need to understand the computational structure of the human brain rather than what the brain does or what can a computer program do before you even think about continuing on the field of Artificial Intelligence."

Noam Chomsky on Where Artificial Intelligence Went Wrong