Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Robert Moog--R.I.P.

Dr. Robert A. Moog (rhymes with "vogue") passed away on August 21st.

Wikipedia has an excellent entry on his achievements: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Moog

I can remember wanting to buy the official Star Wars two-record soundtrack set in 1977, but having to purchase the "Moog Orchestra" version instead, for lack of funds. It was a passable rendering of the orchestral pieces, but not anything like what was found in the movie. I liked the sound of the synthesizers though, an interest that has stayed with me.

It is interesting that synths took a turn in the late 80s and 90s towards a more realistic sound, and now the old Moog sound is sought after again.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005


Who has noticed a new trend in computer generated images, that involves the peeling off of layers within a sequence (usually a commercial). I call this look "Molting" (vs. Morphing), because it usually involves the sluffing off or changing of a surface. Sometimes it resembles taking a box of puzzle pieces, flinging them in the air, and having them fall perfectly fitting together (it could happen).

Some examples I've noticed on TV (I probably don't have the advertisers 100% correct):
*A woman's whole world folds up neatly into her cell phone (Hello Moto?)
*A kid gets a Mountain Dew from a vending machine, and turns his jalopy into a "bitchin' Camaro" or somesuch, and his male friend into an uninhibited lady!
*Cars zoom down the street, and undulate through various skins (is this a feature offered as standard?) Scion automobiles, I think (see below).
*A HumVee vehicle is suspended in pieces in mid-air, and sort of magnetically comes together to make an oil baron's dream ride.

I thought of another name--"Matroishka"--in reference to the Russian dolls within dolls, but it doesn't quite sum up the effect.

Of course Hollywood is bound to grasp onto this eye candy, but what will come of it?
*Utilized for vampire deaths/werewolf transformations? (I am so unconvinced by everything so far--they don't seem realistic)
*Cooler James Bond cars?
*A movie based on Escher's works?
*The latest alien technology, hidden for years in Area 51, now revealed for a "My Favorite Martian" sequel?
*A spiffier-looking They Live remake
*Having unattractive no ones "molt" into sleek, sexy people--no, that only happens if you become a movie star with a lot of money, or smoke (darn Joe Camel and the Marlboro Man).

Quite by accident, I was looking for myself on the Web (see past posts), and found that my name was involved in the creation of the Scion ads--http://www.boardsmag.com/articles/magazine/20040801/toyota.html

This is rather strange synchronicity.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Mission Accomplished

Every year I try to catch one praying mantis, feed it some crickets or grasshoppers, and send it on its way. I am disappointed by the number of them that I find throughout the summer, crushed by cruel feet.

Adopt a mantis today!

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Hot Rods