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Posts Tagged ‘gizmodo’

Ian Burrell has a funny story at the Independent about the Times of London deciding to create the old-tyme newsroom ambiance by piping in the sound of typewriters clacking. Goodness knows if the young people can concentrate, but it must make the guys with the green shades feel they’re in the right place.

“Almost as if the digital revolution never happened,” writes Burrell, “the newsroom of The Times once again resounds to the clatter of the old-fashioned typewriter.

“Nearly three decades after Rupert Murdoch’s UK newspaper publisher revolutionised the industry by moving to Wapping and ending the ‘hot metal’ era, his flagship title has reintroduced the distinctive sound of old Fleet Street.

“To the surprise of Times journalists, a tall speaker on a stand has been erected in the newsroom to pump out typewriter sounds, to increase energy levels and help reporters to hit deadlines. The audio begins with the gentle patter of a single typewriter and slowly builds to a crescendo, with the keys of ranks of machines hammering down as the paper’s print edition is due to go to press.

“The development, which was described as a ‘trial’ [in August] by publisher News UK, has caused some bemusement among journalists, one of whom tried unsuccessfully to turn the sound off. …

“The Times’s initiative coincides with a revival of interest in the typewriter, a trend which the newspaper reflected on Page 3 today, with a report on how the actor Tom Hanks has developed the Hanx Writer app, which simulates the sound of an old-fashioned typewriter and has gone to the top of the iTunes app store in the US. Hanks, it noted, can tell the difference between the sounds of an Olivetti, a Remington and a Royal typewriter model. …

“Michael Williams, who began his newspaper career at The Times’s old offices in London’s Gray’s Inn Road in 1973, and is now a senior lecturer in journalism at the University of Central Lancashire, saw merit in the idea.

“ ‘People feel to some extent disengaged from the thrill of producing a newspaper, which is galvanising,’ he said, referring to the relative quiet of modern newsrooms.”

More here.

Photo found at Gizmodo 

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Here’s an idea: music made with a bicycle.

Mario Aguilar writes at Gizmodo, “Riding a bike is a musical experience in more than a metaphorical way: Brakes squeal, spokes click, derailleurs clang. Composer Johnnyrandom sampled himself ‘playing’ his bicycle and the results are positively gorgeous. …

“It’s hard to believe that all of [the] sounds are made by a bicycle. Some of them are strictly the byproduct of the bike’s mechanical operation, like the sound it makes when you release a brake lever. Others are created when you play different parts of the bike with a musical accessory.

“For example, Johnnyrandom records the low-pitched flutter of a pick scratching on a spinning wheel, and tunes the bicycle’s spokes so he could play them with a bow like a string instrument. After capturing the sounds with a portable recorder, the different sounds were arranged and sequenced using software. This two-minute mix gives you a feel for the wide sonic that he was able to create.”

In typical bloggy fashion, I got this from Andrew Sullivan, who got it from Gizmodo (which also has a kinoscope of Frank Zappa, on the old Steve Allen tv show playing a bicycle, and a video of how Johnny Random works), who got it from This Is Colossal. Where will this message in a bottle land next?

(Be sure to check my post on composer Kenneth Kirschner, here, for more contemporary music using unusual instruments.)

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Stop me if I already told you this.

When I was 12 and Joanna Pousette-Dart was 9, we created a Rube Goldberg contraption one weekend, the Amazing Egg Breaking machine. (After demonstrating the ingenious mechanism in science class, I forgot about it — until the teacher pointed out that there was a rotten-egg odor emanating from his supply closet.)

Now Jamie Condliffe at Gizmodo announces that the 2.0 version has arrived. Well, he didn’t exactly say that. I’m using poetic license.

The new version, the Pancake-omatic, not only breaks eggs, using technology very similar to my own (and Joanna’s) innovation, but it also makes pancakes.

“Dreamt up by a team of four design engineers, it took over 200 hours to construct and a further 100 to test. [Joanna and I worked much faster.] The result seems worth the effort, though: from the moment a hen lays an egg sat upon the throne, its journey to the frying pan is both seamless and entertaining.

“Watch as the egg wobbles its way toward a hoist, to be cracked by a knife [WE had a knife!] and whisked up, before finally being deposited into the frying pan where it belongs. The machine will be on display in London’s Design Museum later this month.” More.

Be sure to “like” project sponsor the Happy Egg Company on Facebook, here.

 

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