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Archive for the ‘Quantum’ Category

SOUNDTRACK: ROSANNE CASH-Tiny Desk Concert #893 (September 23, 2019)

I don’t know all that much about Rosanne Cash (I couldn’t recall how she was related to Johnny).  I also assumed that she would be a country artist.  Yet this set is anything but country.  But I guess the key to that is that her voice isn’t country at all, it’s just good.

This blurb also blows my mind a bit about how quickly (or not) they post concerts.  This show was posted in September but was recorded in January–she had to wait quite a while to see it.

Rosanne Cash and her band arrived at NPR to play the Tiny Desk on a freezing cold, bright sunny day in January — one of those brittle, crystal clear winter days when the snow reflects the sun and there’s nowhere to hide from the light. Her intense performance had that same balance of heat and ice.

Cash plays four songs

most taken from her 2018 album She Remembers Everything, have a lot of emotional heat, but they’re shaped and sculpted by the wry wisdom of age and experience. More than at any time in her career, her spirit and approach to performance these days reflects the influence of her father, the legendary country singer Johnny Cash.

“She Remembers Everything” opens with John Leventhal on with Rosanne on acoustic guitar.  Like most of these songs, it feels slow and powerful–kind of bluesy with a dramatic chord progression.  Mid song, Leventhal switches to guitar and plays a great little solo.

When the song is over she praises everyone: “So attentive.  Like a listening room at the NPR offices.”

Up next is “The Only Thing Worth Fighting” which she co-wrote with T Bone Burnett and Lyra Lynn  This song is not so much country as western-sounding.  There’s more nice guitar work from Leventhal.

Zev Katz on bass and Dan Rieser on drums don’t do anything to single them out except for keeping the songs moving properly.  The bass does do some nice lines, but mostly, these are simple songs which need little accompaniment.

For “Everyone But Me” she takes off the guitar.  This is a lovely piano ballad after which she says, “I don’t know if the young people can relate to this song but it means more as you get older.”

The last song is from her album The River and the Thread.  She says the album won a Grammy and the last time she won a Grammy, Ronald Reagan was president.  From this she plays the cool bluesy “A Feather’s Not A Bird.”

This isn’t the kind of music I enjoyed, but I liked this Tiny Desk Concert a lot more than I thought I would based on what I thought I knew about Rosanne Cash.

[READ: August 26, 2019] The Adventures of Barry & Joe

After the election that has sent the country spiraling into a level of hell, Adam Reid wanted to do something to make decent-thinking people laugh.

When I saw first saw this, I assumed that Adam Reid was Adam Reed, the creator of Archer and other delightfully dark cartoons.  It took a while for me to realize that he isAdam Reid who is responsible for The Tiny Chef Show.

Aside from that, I don’t really have any familiarity with him.  So that’s kind of interesting, I suppose. (more…)

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[LISTENED TO: September 2017] The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy complete radio series

The history of the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy is almost as convoluted as the story itself.

Douglas Adams (with help from John Lloyd) wrote the radio story in 1977.  It aired in 1978.  A second season aired in 1980.

Adams wrote the novel based on the radio series in 1979.  And then the second book The Restaurant at the End of the Universe in 1980.

Then they made the TV show.

Apparently Adams considered writing a third radio series to be based on Life, the Universe and Everything in 1993, but the project did not begin until after his death in 2001.  The third, fourth and fifth radio series were based on Life, So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish and Mostly Harmless which were transmitted in 2004 and 2005.

It’s interesting and a little disconcerting how different the radio play is from the story of the book. There are a lot of similarities of course, but some very large differences.

The first series obviously leaves a lot out from the book, since the book wasn’t written yet. (more…)

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SOUNDTRACK: THE NEW PORNOGRAPHERS-“Don’t Destroy This Night from Score! 20 Years of Merge Records: The Covers (2009).

 This is one of my favorite tracks on this compilation.  The New Pornographers grab this song and don’t let go.  It’s loud and catchy and wonderful.  I didn’t know the original of this song either (evidently I don’t know any bands on Merge Records except for Superchunk).

The original is by the Rock*A*Teens, whom I don’t know at all.  I listened  to the original and while the chorus is very similar, the verses are much slower (which is funny given their name).  The Rock*A*Teens version is even kind of moody.  The New Pornographers don’t really increase the pace at all, but there’s something about it that make it seem brighter, poppier.

Once again, I like both versions, but the New Pornographers edge out a bit.

[READ: April 6, 2012] “Dream Machine”

After reading all of those Harper’s pieces by Rivka Galchen, I decided to see if she’d written anything else that I could get my hands on.  Turns out that she has written this essay for the New Yorker (and a short story that I hadn’t seen as well as a few other short pieces).

This essay is about quantum computing.  I had recently read something about the potential of quantum computers, so I was intrigued to read this more lengthy and detailed piece.   As she states: “With one millionth of the hardware of an ordinary laptop, a quantum computer could store as many bits of information as there are particles in the universe.”  Not bad, eh?

It could also do what other computers only dream of (heck, it could probably even dream).  The key is that quantum computers are not binary.  Regular computers do either 1 or 0.  That’s all.  Quantum computers can do 1 and 0 and both–all at the same time.  Exactly what that means is a bit harder to grasp, and although the article helped, my summary is about as good as I can do.

For the article, Galchen talked with David Deutsch, the “founding father” of quantum computing (as well as a few other physicists). Deutsch believes that if quantum computers work, it validates the Many Worlds Interpretation (which is just what it sounds like).  But many physicists who believe in the potential for quantum computing either do not care about or simply avoid talking about Many Worlds. (more…)

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