Dennis James shows us around 2 of the more unusual musical instruments – ones that require wetted hands that make their glass parts sing. The Cristal Baschet and Glass Armonica are fascinating historical glass instruments.
The Glass Armonica was invented by Benjamin Franklin and was purported to be dangerous to both players and listeners by driving them mad or even killing them.
The Cristal Baschet was developed by the French brothers Bernard and Frncois Baschet as a sculpture that could be played to produce music. They also invented an inflatable guitar and an aluminum piano.
As a kid, I LOVED catching the latest Knight Rider episode each week. Besides the episodes with KARR, one of my other favorites as a kid was the episode that featured Michael’s evil twin Garth and Goliath: a giant semi with the same protective shell as KITT.
Chess, like all pursuits, continues to evolve and change over time. Apparently a lot of the chess kids these days are learning new Hypermodernismchess techniques. A school of chess that emerged after World War I. It featured challenges to the chess ideas of central European masters, including Wilhelm Steinitz‘s approach to the centre and the rules established by Siegbert Tarrasch.
The Kings Indian Defense is one of these new openings. Popular in the early 2000’s, it’s popularity has recently been reigned back in by the likes of Vladimir Kramnik who scored excellent results against it, so much so that even Kasparov gave up the opening.
Anyway, if you want to play against modern chess kids, it’s good to know what they’re using these days.
AI is increasing at ever fast rates and in all conceivable parts of our lives. We have commercially viable AI driving cars, AI that can identify pictures and elements in pictures, teach robots how to run/walk/jump and navigate, language bots that can write news and informational articles that are indistinguishable from real writers, comprehend and explain jokes, and even generate art.
It appears that Ai-Da is likely just a camera, image filters much like you’d find in Photoshop, and a computer controlled limb to generate art using her robotic arm. The creators seem to also enjoy putting words into her mouth. Lots of them – even to the point of giving a Ted talk. It can come off a bit pretentious, and I even feels like there is a touch of deliberate misleading going on. Folks that don’t understand there is ‘someone behind the curtain’ pulling the strings and putting the words in her mouth might believe it’s the AI’s opinion – which it really isn’t.
Still, it’s an interesting accomplishment – I just wish the creators would be a bit more honest about what they’re doing and no try to convince people the AI itself is coming up with the words and that her artwork is more a product of well-known image algorithms as opposed to intelligence – let alone consciousness.
Ore no Ryomi was one of the earliest cooking games that I ever saw for the PC. David Galindo was inspired years ago by a Japanese import game on a demo disk that came in Playstation Magazine. That game was called Ore no Ryouri (developed by Argent for the PS1) but it never saw release in the US despite being hugely popular in Japan. Galindo made a fan PC game using much more hand-drawn sprites and much more simplified play and released it into the wild as shareware.
Fast forward to today, and there are countless cooking games of all sorts out there – and it’s a very popular genre. But Ore no Ryomi is still one of my favorites. I recommend going and downloading a copy from Vertigo Gaming. It’s freeware, so you have nothing to lose – and it’s a lot of fun!
Fast forward again, and I recently discovered that the calm background soundtrack in Ore no Ryomi 2 is actually the ‘Neighborhood 4’ track from The Sims.