October 20, 2010

Sensitive Female Chord Progression

From Here and Now on NPR a while ago, the revelation that many many songs have the same boring pattern. Having heard it explained, you will be forever cursed with the knowledge that these songs are derivative garbage.

Entertainment writer Marc Hirsh has been noticing the same chord progression in a large number of rock and pop hits over the past few years. He’s dubbed it the “Sensitive Female Chord Progression” because he first heard it in songs like Joan Osborne’s “One of Us” and Sarah McLachlan’s “Building a Mystery”. But guys can play it too.

Here and Now [Mar 4, 2009 -- scroll down to the fifth story to hear it]

And as a related issue, nearly the same theme explored as a comic rant against Pachelbel's cannon (which doubtlessly has it coming)

October 17, 2010

The Modern Insane, Illegal, Fairly Pointless Cannonball Run

This is in no way timely, but I recently re-encountered this story and thought I would be deficient in not posting this article I saw a couple years ago, about the people attempting to record the fastest ever time crossing the American continent on land, for no purpose other than impressing their other independently wealthy, overcompensating, friends. The time to beat is 32 hrs 7 min (amazingly) from New York City to LA*. They have an enormous array of radar equipment, several co-pilots, at some points, an effing helicopter, and are regularly traveling at 100-140 mph along the normal highways. The technology is primarily aimed at averting police detection, because not only would it slow them down, but at these speeds they cross over into the kind of territory where you don't get speeding tickets anymore. Furthermore, even if they do accomplish it, they have to wait several years to claim the title, until the various statutes of limitation expire in the states where they have been recklessly endangering. Not to mention regularly outrunning the police who spot them. "To beat the record, Roy has calculated that he needs to maintain an average of almost exactly 90 mph from Manhattan to the Santa Monica Pier. For occasional spurts, 90 is not uncommon on the highway. But for a day and a half of barreling across the United States, 90 miles per hour is essentially insane...As a Cannonballer makes his way across the continent, the accumulation of his time and speed forms a rising and falling curve called a running average. For every second spent below his 90-mph target, Roy will need to compensate by investing a second going faster than that average."

I don't think I have much to say about this, of my own, other than that although I can't really see the point of this kind of thing, and I would never want to be friends with any of these people, because they're probably way more into Vin Diesel than I could ever be comfortable with-- it is impossible to ignore how rare this kind of maniacal devotion to anything is. The story is just so strange and incredible that it is surprising that it isn't better known.

Wired - The Pedal-to-the-Metal, Totally Illegal, Cross-Country Sprint for Glory

*Or one of those annoying outskirt towns that is essentially the same thing.

Electric Box 2

A quality waste of time. By which I mean that it is a quality way of wasting time, by trying to be smart.

Electric Box 2