26 January 2007

Best Thing Since the iPod...
...and probably more important.

I can think of so many applications for this, especially in art and music. Someday I'll be able to notate music on the computer without the endless clicking, and without shelling out a few hundred dollars for a touch-sensitive MIDI keyboard. Think of the applications for folks with disease or disability--people with severe arthritis or other conditions that cause joint pain or affect fine motor skills can manipulate things on the screen without the pain or frustration of using a mouse, and people with very short fingers (like folks with dwarfism) can type on a keyboard that's sized to fit their hands, not some imposed standard. I wonder if the sensitivity of the screen can be adjusted, so that very slight movement can be picked up for an artistic endeavor, or so that you have to be more deliberate about what you want to register on the screen if a child or someone not so coordinated is using it?

Questions aside, when they finish work on that, it's going to be awesome.

25 January 2007

Priest Chic?

No, not the latest window display from Gamarelli's. I'm talking about the latest from Donatella Versace, who took her inspiration for her latest collection (warning, the image also contains a woman in an extremely low-backed dress) from Msgr. Georg Gänswein, His Holiness' personal secretary. The Telegraph article is a bit strange, especially as it mentions lots of blond models though the male model in their photo is brown-haired, and refers to Msgr. Gänswein as "Father Georg." An Italian site provides a nice image of one of the blond models in an even more obviously clerical suit. The model in that one looks a little like another Fr. Georg I once knew, only without the cool silver glasses.

Msgr. Gänswein appears in the photo in this article standing behind the Holy Father. I am extremely puzzled as to why the words "sex symbol" appear under that photo, and also about why fashionable young men who aren't going to become priests would want to dress up in cleric-inspired suits.

21 January 2007

Quote of the Day

From a fellow on one of the message boards I read, in a thread on "saving" money by buying things on sale that you wouldn't have bought if they weren't on sale:

"Books: the crack cocaine of the literate class."

This explains why, despite telling my mother that I have books in a pile on the floor because I don't have enough money to buy another $35 bookcase, I came home with $40 worth of books a couple weeks ago. See, Mom? It's a compulsion--I can't help it.
Santa Claus Came to Town

I watched an interesting documentary on the History Channel while I was home for Christmas (one of the few t.v. channels I miss), called "The Real Face of Santa." Basically, a researcher--who is a native of Bari--was studying the bones of St. Nicholas in the crypt in the cathedral at Bari. Nobody questioned the authenticity of the relics, incidentally. The researcher did mention that he is concerned that the place in which the bones are housed has started to leak and is very damp (apart from the holy liquid apparently exuded by the relics themselves), and he is afraid the relics will completely deteriorate in the next 50 years, but the folks in charge don't want to move the relics.

Regardless of all that, he had some people reconstruct, based on skull measurements and historical data, what St. Nicholas would have looked like. An article that includes the picture can be seen here.

19 January 2007

Quote of the Day

Last night, snarky choir director correcting the soprano section: "This piece is in a minor mode. If you sing an F# there, it will be a major error."