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Music to Make You Move: Syncopation, Body-Movement and Pleasure

What is it about "Happy" by Pharrell Williams that makes you want to move? Why can't we sit still when we hear Ray Charles perform "I've Got a Woman"? Michael Jackson had it, and so did Stevie Wonder. "It," in this case, is syncopation, the gaps in the rhythm that your brain wants to fill in, as reported in the article Syncopation, Body-Movement and Pleasure in Groove Music (full article online).
posted by filthy light thief on May 30, 2014 - 70 comments

The poetry of Hart Crane, from the American epic to personal belonging

Hart Crane was a poet, one who was known by and friends with other notable poets. The poet e. e. cummings claimed that "Crane’s mind was no bigger than a pin, but it didn’t matter; he was a born poet" (Google books preview). Tennessee Williams said he could "hardly understand a single line" but insisted he wanted to be buried at sea at the "point most nearly determined as the point at which Hart Crane gave himself back." Crane had his critics — Marianne Moore and Ezra Pound come to mind, and William Carlos Williams wrote "There is good there but it’s not for me" — but Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg used to read "The Bridge" together, John Berryman wrote one of his famous elegies on Crane and heavyweight Robert Lowell included his “Words for Hart Crane” in "Life Studies." Science/Fiction author, James Tiptree, Jr. (Alice Sheldon) also wrote that "nobody seems to have noticed that Hart Crane really was the first space poet," quoting lines from his epic The Bridge in the story Mother in the Sky with Diamonds. Those are all words by other people, why not read a few from Crane? [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Jan 19, 2014 - 22 comments

a giant machine designed to give people what they want

"Twenty years after people began using the web en masse, it’s time, Williams said, to accept that the internet isn’t a magical universe with boundless potential. It’s just another engine for improving quality of life." Twitter, Blogger and Medium founder Evan Williams on the triumphs and dangers of convenience.
posted by Potomac Avenue on Oct 1, 2013 - 29 comments

"I was ... working on something else but last night I dreamt of R'lyeh"

The title of Allen Williams' website, "I Just Draw," undersells his works. These are no idle doodles, but rather, as Guillermo del Toro wrote: "Entire worlds flow from Allen Williams' pencil and brush. Creatures and characters more twisted and full of humanity than our imagination dares to conjure. He is an incredible draughtsman and a true original mind." You can see more of Williams' works on his blog. Click on the images to enlarge them. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Sep 3, 2013 - 10 comments

diddally​diddally​diddally​diddally​diddally​diddally​diddally wawp wamp

If you're not already in the mood for bacon fat, you might find yourself craving it anyway, just as soon as it hits the pan. Cause it's a slow simmering, juicy slab of swamp doo wop just right for easing across the kitchen floor to. Or the juke joint floor. Or just about any floor. Aww, have mercy! By the way, I mean this kind of Bacon Fat. Mmmm-mmm! Hungry for more? Alright then, there's... [more inside]
posted by flapjax at midnite on Aug 15, 2013 - 11 comments

"Her daughter is a six year old version of me."

The Princess and the Trolls: The Heartrending Legend of Adalia Rose. A six year old with progeria, the internet, well-meaning adults, and a bunch of not so well-meaning ones, plus facebook and youtube, create the usual storm.
posted by availablelight on Feb 22, 2013 - 41 comments

"All hands, prepare for MULTIBALL."

What is perhaps the best license ever applied to a pinball machine? Probably Star Trek: The Next Generation, which is surprisingly like playing an episode. Williams also released a special ROM of funny quotes from cast members that people can install into their machines. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Dec 30, 2012 - 62 comments

“Anything you are shows up in your music …”

“Her early records are collectors’ items. Her writing and playing have become part of the pattern of jazz history. She has transcended the difficulties experienced by women in the music field and through several decades has held a position of eminence as one of jazz’s most original and creative pianists. She speaks softly: ‘Anything you are shows up in your music—jazz is whatever you are playing yourself, being yourself, letting your thoughts come through.’” Mary Lou Williams: Into The Sun, a conversational profile by fellow pianist Marian McPartland, 1964. [more inside]
posted by koeselitz on Nov 16, 2012 - 6 comments

"I don't know why I made the raccoons Irish, but it works."

Robin Williams in Concert:
An Evening with Robin Williams (1982)
A Night at The Met: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 (1986)
Live on Broadway (2002)
Weapons of Self Destruction (2010) (Alternate link) [more inside]
posted by zarq on Aug 21, 2012 - 36 comments

Death by Degrees of Separation

Recently we learned about Erdos-Bacon-Sabbath numbers. Continuing in this vein, forum members at Select Button have been compiling Williams numbers, being characters in video games who can be linked to Nina Williams from the Tekken series of fighting games. [NSFW forum images]
Mikhail Gorbachev is easy, he has a Williams number of only 2. Adolph Hitler has a Williams number of 3. Also, the guy from Doom, Voltron, Barack Obama and Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law. God has a Williams number of 4. So does T. E. Lawrence and Tron. The Burger King has a Williams number of 5 as well as Sarah Palin, Sigmund Freud, Avatar Aang and H.P. Lovecraft. Homestar Runner has a Williams number of 7. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Jul 1, 2012 - 27 comments

A Century of Pinball - No Replay

In the 1930s in Chicago, it started pouring heavily, and ex-forestry ranger Steve Kordek ran into a building to get out of the rain. The company was Genco, and Steve was hired to work there at 26, which began a long, long career in pinball. Designer of over 100 games, he worked at Genco, Bally and finally Williams, retiring along with Williams' exit from Pinball with the ignoble shutdown of the Pinball 2000 project, a story told in the documentary Tilt (which has extensive interviews with Kordek). Here's a video of Steve in 1994. This week, Steve Kordek passed on, having celebrated his 100th birthday last month. Here's video of his 100th birthday party, with heartfelt tributes from friends and colleagues, and a few words from Steve himself.
posted by jscott on Feb 19, 2012 - 23 comments

Intervals

Star Wars. 2001: A Space Odyssey. Star Trek: The Next Generation. Battlestar Galactica (1978), Superman: The Movie. What do all of these iconic scifi music themes have in common? Bear McCeary discusses the physics behind them. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Feb 12, 2012 - 36 comments

National Public Rodeo

National Public Rodeo Vanity Fair's David Margolick on the recent history and (somewhat) uncertain future of National Public Radio.
posted by Chrischris on Jan 19, 2012 - 8 comments

Took a fish wheel out to see a movie / Didn't have to pay to get it in

Right around 1879, the fishwheel (historical images, McCord replica) came to the Columbia River. A clever application of mill-like thinking to traditional net fishing techniques, the fishwheel's river-powered automation of upstream harvesting revolutionized canning in Oregon and Washington, drawing both commercial attention and critical concern [NYT 1881, PDF]. Two men, Thornton Williams and William Rankin McCord, each filed patents for fishwheel designs in 1881 (#245251) and 1882 (#257960) respectively; Williams brought an infringement suit against McCord which was dismissed on the grounds that the invention was not new, being based directly on the publicly documented work of one Samuel Wilson in 1879. Fishwheels were fair game. [more inside]
posted by cortex on Jun 28, 2011 - 15 comments

How the Daddy of Jesse Helms Gave Birth to Black Power

In 1936 in the Jim Crow South, Robert F. Williams was an 11-year-old black boy in Monroe, North Carolina, who watched helplessly as Jesse Helms Sr. (father and namesake of the former senator) beat an African-American woman to the ground and "dragged her off to the nearby jailhouse, her dress up over her head, the same way that a cave man would club and drag his sexual prey." Years later, after a stint in the segregated military, Williams returned home to Monroe and worked as an NAACP organizer, where he brought international attention to the Kissing Case, a 1958 incident in which two black boys under the age of 10 were sentenced to a reformatory for kissing a white girl. By then, Williams had also attracted controversy for his advocacy of armed self-defense, a position he outlined in the book Negroes with Guns. But it would all change overnight in 1961, when Williams landed on FBI's Most Wanted list, after being charged with kidnapping a white couple that Williams claimed he was trying to save from an angry black crowd. [more inside]
posted by jonp72 on Jun 8, 2010 - 36 comments

The dream of a reading machine.

"The written word hasn't kept up with the age. The movies have outmanoeuvered it. We have the talkies, but as yet no Readies." So wrote Rob Brown in 1930 in his book The Readies. Putting his money where his mouth was, he made a prototype readie, which has since been lost. Brown's story is recounted by Jennifer Schuessler in The New York Times. Brown expert Craig Saper has created a replica Readie online, which includes amongst others texts by Gertrude Stein, William Carlos Williams, F. T. Marinetti as well as translations from Horace by Ezra Pound. [Some of the texts shock modern sensibilities]
posted by Kattullus on Apr 28, 2010 - 17 comments

"Now, I don't see race..."

People afflicted with Williams syndroms are known for their "elfin" appearance, the ease with which they approach and socialize with stranger, and their near-normal language skills. Recent research on children with the rare neurodevelopmental disorder suggests they share another trait: They do not form racial stereotypes. Via.
posted by Bukvoed on Apr 13, 2010 - 50 comments

Newfoundland Premier Danny Williams (no stranger to Metafilter) has travelled to an unspecified location in the United States to have heart surgery.

Newfoundland Premier Danny Williams (no stranger to Metafilter) has travelled to an unspecified location in the United States to have heart surgery. [more inside]
posted by Hiker on Feb 7, 2010 - 59 comments

Now you, too, can become a Jedi!

Have you ever dreamed of moving an object with the power of your mind? Mindflex, the new mental acuity game from Mattel, makes that dream a reality. A lightweight headset containing sensors for the forehead and earlobes measures your brainwave activity. When you focus your concentration, a small foam ball will rise on a gentle stream of air. Relax your thoughts and the ball will descend. By using a combination of physical and mental coordination, you must then guide the ball through a customizable obstacle course, the various obstacles can be repositioned into many different configurations. [more inside]
posted by litterateur on Jun 27, 2009 - 39 comments

Tie Brian Up, Tie Brian Down.

The Brian Williams Tie Report Archives. "Logging the neckwear fashion decisions of America's most trusted voice in evening news." No, seriously.
posted by dersins on Nov 26, 2008 - 11 comments

Don Helms, steel guitar master, passes on.

Don Helms, the steel guitarist in Hank Williams' Drifting Cowboys band, died on August 11. He was 81. Don provided the smooth-as-silk string stylings for over 100 of Hank's tunes, including Hey Good Lookin' and I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry. See Don demonstrate some of that steel guitar goodness in a snazzy version of Blues Stay Away From Me, or this instrumental rendition of Hank's Cold Cold Heart, or this sprightly little number, Fireball Mail. [more inside]
posted by flapjax at midnite on Oct 7, 2008 - 9 comments

The Black Godfather

Agile Mobile Hostile [ Mov. file] A year with Andre Williams the documentary. The wiki entry, some clips from the film. [more inside]
posted by nola on Jun 29, 2008 - 11 comments

Podcasting Resources

The popularity of podcasting has grown by leaps and bounds in the past year. Evan Williams, co-founder and former CEO of Pyra Labs, the makers of Blogger, is a co-founder of Odeo, a resource for podcast listeners and podcasters. More info here. Odeo is just one of many podcast directories; personally, my favorite is Podcast Pickle. Another great resource for audio content is PodioBooks.com, founded by Evo Terra. PodioBooks are serialized audio books which are made available in podcast format, many read by their authors. [more inside]
posted by eclectica on Sep 24, 2006 - 29 comments

you are a robotron head.

Have you played Robotron today?
posted by 6am on Sep 12, 2006 - 41 comments

Texans Reject Bush

Texans reject Bush

Not since the Portland Trailblazers selected Sam Bowie over Michael Jordan has such a draft day blunder occurred. In today's 2006 NFL Draft, the Houston Texans are set to make NC State defensive end Mario Williams - not USC running back Reggie Bush - the top overall pick. Yes, we're talking about this Reggie Bush (YouTube).

Texans fans, prepare for 10 more seasons like the one you just had.
posted by b_thinky on Apr 29, 2006 - 104 comments

Not-so-lovely Rita

Got off the phone with my dad a little after midnight. He said, "It looks like this is finally the big one we've been talking about all these years..." Will the town made famous by Hemingway, Tennessee Williams, Jimmy Buffet, Mel Fisher, and, er, Pat Croce be the next metropolitan casualty?
posted by soyjoy on Sep 20, 2005 - 55 comments

evhead resigns blogger

best of luck, ev. after over five years of sweat and tears, founder evan williams decides to hang up the reigns on his position at blogger. undoubtedly, he's done a lot for the blogging community and the internet in general.. we wish him well.
posted by mrplab on Oct 4, 2004 - 18 comments

Williams Telemetry

Back seat driver? Next time you get to drive a Williams F1 BMW around Indianapolis, you will want to know how to do it right. Thanks to the onboard telemetry spy system you can see how Ralf Schumacher tachs to 19000 rpm as he shifts up to 4th and reaches 333 kph on the straightaway, as recorded on the telemetry display (SWF). Compare with other tracks.

Can't get to the track? Drive your phone.
posted by Geo on Dec 12, 2003 - 6 comments

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