Monday, March 10, 2014

Russian Sound Umbrella

Something kinda neat I ran across the other day:

The russian guy who built it is using it for his own custom 10-channel compositions, I think. But - what if you hooked up something like this for 5.1 or 7.1 sound? You could put a "subwoofer" in the center. And then you could wear it on your head like Doc Brown in Back to the Future:

Naw, just kidding about the wearing it on your head part. But - if it was raining and you were using an umbrella anyway? Or maybe it could catch on as an alternative to those stupid ear-buds everyone wears these days. I can see needing some kind of flexible, easy-to-see 'guard' around the circumference so random passers-by don't poke out their eyes on the tines.

Also, it occurs to me: what if you made a large (yet light-weight) version of this, that had a radius of 10, 15, or 20 feet? You could set it up while camping, or at the beach, maybe inside of a tent - either just for music or if you had a 15" or 17" notebook computer, you could have a group 2 or 6 people sit together and, basically, it's a portable Home Theater system?

BTW, has a lot of fascinating music/tech/art stuff on it.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

WTF China???

'Dozens die' in China knife attack at Kunming train station
An attack by knife-wielding men at a train station in Kunming in south-west China, has left 27 people dead, the state news agency Xinhua says.

Nothing is known so far about the motivation behind the attack, in which 109 people are said to have been hurt.

Xinhua gave few further details, and the men responsible have not been identified.

A local television station said several of the attackers were shot by police, according to Associated Press.

One report quoted by AP said the men were wearing uniforms when they stormed the railway station.

Mass stabbings are not uncommon in China, but none have been recently reported on this scale.

Jesus Christ, WTF is going on with this? By way of comparison, this is one less than died in the Newtown, CT school shooting in 2012. That was a lone wacko with a gun; this incident involved multiple guys with knives - swords? - wearing uniforms?

I encountered this story as a random new item on Google News. Given that the story came from China, I have no idea if there will ever be any follow-up. I'll probably never know how it will be covered in China. Imagine this happened in the USA, though? They'd probably send in the military and declare martial law.

The sad thing is that I know that I see news stories like this all the freakin' time - "39 killed in explosion", "45 dead in car bombing", etc - and I just gloss on past it. It is sobering to stop and spend a minute imagining what it would actually be like to be standing in this train station, minding your own business, when guys in freakin' uniforms start stabbing everyone in sight. They killed 27 people and injured 109. When was the last time you were in a room with a group of 130+ people? Who was there, where was it? Now imagine you're back there again - and everyone is dead or injured, bleeding and crying for help.

And the thing that gets me is: it's not an earthquake or a tsunami or some kind of natural disaster. It's people who did this.

We do it to ourselves.