Daily Archives: April 30, 2007

Official Grateful Dead Day in Ithaca: 5/8/07

For the 30th anniversary of 5/8/77 Ithaca’s Mayor says it all :

Proclamation from the Mayor of the City of Ithaca

Whereas, the Grateful Dead have been recognized by many highly credible organizations, individuals and entities including the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame as significantly important and integral to the
musical and social fabric of our contemporary culture, and whereas, on May 8th, 1977 the Grateful Dead performed in Barton Hall on the campus of Cornell University in the city of Ithaca New York, a concert that is widely acknowledged and regarded as a defining and transcendent occasion and example of the art of contemporary musical improvisation, collaboration, musicianship, and performance, and whereas, many tens of thousands of individuals who were not in attendance that night in Barton Hall, have become knowledgeable & familiar with the extraordinary nature of the performance on May 8th 1977 through the trading and sharing of recordings of the show, and whereas, the cultural identity and perceptions of Ithaca as a community, have been informed and bolstered by the widespread acknowledgement of the magic of May 8th, 1977, and whereas, it has been said many times by many people that, “there is nothing like a Grateful Dead concert.”

Nope, there is nothing like a Grateful Dead Concert. Though, Railroad Earth may make a run at them if they keep at it for a few more years and continue to develop their improvisational capabilities and evolve their ability to weave songs together.

If you live near Ithaca check out Dark Star Orchestra performing a 30th anniversary version of 5/8/77. DSO is, imho, the best Grateful Dead cover band around. They do a wonderful job of recreating complete GD concerts!

In the meantime, You will not go wrong giving a listen to this MP3 stream of a 5-8-77 audience recording. Do put your head phones on if possible!

Via the GD Hour Log Blog.

No Longer Working for the Taxperson

It is tax freedom day 2007:

Tax Freedom Day® will fall on April 30 in 2007, according to the Tax Foundation’s annual calculation using the latest government data on income and taxes. (Click here to read the full study).
“Tax freedom will come two days later in 2007 than it did in 2006,” said Tax Foundation President Scott A. Hodge, “and fully 12 days later than in 2003, when tax cuts caused Tax Freedom Day to arrive comparatively early, on April 18.”
However, 2007’s Tax Freedom Day is still slightly arlier than it was in 2000, when the economic boom, the tech bubble and higher tax rates pushed tax burdens to a record high, and Tax Freedom Day was postponed until May 5.

Ahhhh…, it feels as though a yoke has been lifted from my shoulders. Now, if only the withholdings would stop.

Via Fergie.

May The Force Be With You

If you can’t concentrate you may not win your next light sword battle or make your next put:

Behind the mask is a sensor that touches the user’s forehead and reads the brain’s electrical signals, then sends them to a wireless receiver inside the saber, which lights up when the user is concentrating. The player maintains focus by channeling thoughts on any fixed mental image, or thinking specifically about keeping the light sword on. When the mind wanders, the wand goes dark.

Technology from NeuroSky and other startups could make video games more mentally stimulating and realistic. It could even enable players to control video game characters or avatars in virtual worlds with nothing but their thoughts.
Adding biofeedback to “Tiger Woods PGA Tour,” for instance, could mean that only those players who muster Zen-like concentration could nail a put. In the popular action game “Grand Theft Auto,” players who become nervous or frightened would have worse aim than those who remain relaxed and focused.
NeuroSky’s prototype measures a person’s baseline brain-wave activity, including signals that relate to concentration, relaxation and anxiety. The technology ranks performance in each category on a scale of 1 to 100, and the numbers change as a person thinks about relaxing images, focuses intently, or gets kicked, interrupted or otherwise distracted.

Read the rest of the article for the beginnings of what could be an interesting debate over both intended and unintended benefits of bringing biofeedback to the popular market.

Will learning to keep a light sword bright improve our ability to focus on other tasks?

Update: Here is a picture of Neurosky’s prototype and here is NeuroSky’s homepage.<.p>