TagBBC

Recreating the Sounds of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop

Back in the 60s, before synthesizers were commercially available, the BBC Radiophonic workshop was creating electronic music and sound effects for shows like Doctor Who. The BBC has now published a set of web-based simulations of some of this equipment, using just the Web Audio API of HTML5. The code and explanations are included.

Recreating the sounds of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop using the Web Audio API

Previously: Video: Radiophonic Style Electronic Music Improv

How a Team of Outsiders Created Doctor Who

Doctor Who

i09 has some interesting back history of Doctor Who and how difficult it was to get the show made:

Also, at the panel, Hussein and William Russell talked about how the first Doctor, William Hartnell, wasn’t just a cantankerous old man — he was also a very traditional Englishman, who wasn’t used to the idea of women working outside the home. And he didn’t know what to make of Hussein, “an East Indian who spoke posh English,” said Hussein. Thus, Hartnell took a lot of convincing that an East Asian man and a young woman were going to be up to their jobs. The first lunch Hussein and Lambert had with Hartnell, he seemed reluctant to take on the role, and they almost gave up. In the end, they decided to have a second lunch with Hartnell, at which it became clear that the actor wanted them to prove their qualifications.

i09: The creators of Doctor Who were a scandal

How creativity is being strangled by the law

Larry Lessig gets TEDsters to their feet, whooping and whistling, following this elegant presentation of three stories and an argument. The Net’s most adored lawyer brings together John Philip Sousa, celestial copyrights, and the “ASCAP cartel” to build a case for creative freedom. He pins down the key shortcomings of our dusty, pre-digital intellectual property laws, and reveals how bad laws beget bad code. Then, in an homage to cutting-edge artistry, he throws in some of the most hilarious remixes you’ve ever seen.

EDIT — Couple links I thought might be noteworthy in regards to Lessig’s talk: BBC’s “The view from The Pirate Bay” and Boing Boing’s current coverage of the upcoming Draconian copyright laws being pushed forward in Canada (similar to the ones already enacted in the U.S.).

Garry Kasparov Detained and Charged Over Rally

I posted an article about how they’ve got a combo boxing/chess game going on in Germany a few weeks back. I think Kasparov and Putin need to be put in the ring and have it out. How can they call it an “election”, if the people have no choice? Checkmate and down for the count!

“The Russian authorities have charged opposition leader and former chess champion Garry Kasparov following clashes with police in Moscow. He and other opposition figures were detained during a rally organised by Mr Kasparov’s Other Russia coalition. Mr Kasparov was charged with resisting arrest and organising an unauthorised protest. In speeches, leaders of the movement bitterly criticised the upcoming parliamentary election, saying there was no choice for voters. The commission has barred Other Russia candidates from the 2 December election. Mr Kasparov was forced to the ground and beaten before being detained, his assistant told AP news agency. He was later charged with organising an illegal protest and resisting arrest.”

via BBC News

Dolphins communicate with each other by name

Dolphins communicate like humans by calling each other by “name”, scientists in Fife have found.

The mammals are able to recognise themselves and other members of the same species as individuals with separate identities, using whistles.

St Andrews University researchers studying in Florida discovered bottlenose dolphins used names rather than sound to identify each other.

Full Story: BBC.

(via Lupa).

Boxing clever in Germany-Chess Anyone?

Okay, one last post before I go out of town. Why not have a friendly round of chess, and then beat your opponent to a bloody pulp? That’s what they’re doing in Germany.

“But just when you would expect the punches to start flying, something rather odd happens. The two challengers put on headphones, sit down at a table and start playing chess: in the middle of the boxing ring. That is because this is Chess Boxing. A sort of Rocky… with rooks. The rules are simple. There is one round of chess – and then one round of boxing. Punching power alternating with brainpower.”

BBC News

Rare dead star found near Earth

Astronomers have spotted a space oddity in Earth’s neighbourhood – a dead star with some unusual characteristics.

The object, known as a neutron star, was studied using space telescopes and ground-based observatories.

But this one, located in the constellation Ursa Minor, seems to lack some key characteristics found in other neutron stars.

Full Story: BBC.

(via Notes from Somewhere Bizarre).

Norway to host Witchcraft Experts

A small Northern European town will host three days of lectures, discussions, and film showings as the International Midnight Sun Witchcraft Conference descends on Vardo, Norway. The conference is being hosted by universities from the United States and Scandinavia, and will also feature discussions on shamanism and on the issue of cultural persecutions of witchcraft, both in a historical context and in examples from around the world in the modern day.

The original article (complete with stereotype-propagating image and obligatory Harry Potter mention) from BBC News.

Space tourism program to launch in 2012

The European aerospace giant EADS is going into the space tourism business.

Its Astrium division says it will build a space plane capable of carrying fare-paying passengers on a sub-orbital ride more than 100km above the planet.

[...]

Tickets are expected to cost up to 200,000 euros (?135,000), with flights likely to begin in 2012.

Full Story: BBC.

(Thanks Chaoflux).

Ronald Bailey reviews Next by Michael Crichton

Michael Crichton follows up his foray into anti-evironmentalism with an exploration of the biopunk underground in his new novel Next, which actually sounds pretty interesting.

Early on in Next, a court similarly rules that Burnet does not own his own cells. Unfortunately, however, the cell lines derived from Burnet and now growing in BioGen’s labs have been contaminated. Investments worth billions will be lost unless the cells are replaced from the only known sources – Burnet, his daughter, and his grandson. Given that this is a Crichton novel, the corporation is not overly sensitive about how it replaces what its executives regard as its property.

Crichton similarly fictionalizes reality in a subplot in which shady characters in a pathology lab harvest and sell tissue and bones from cadavers without consent. This sordid activity came to light in real life in 2005, when police discovered that bones were taken from the cancerous cadaver of 95-year-old BBC broadcaster Alistair Cooke and sold.

Full Story: The National Review.

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