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Category Archives: internet

“Pop!” goes the weasel.

I am a huge fan of free music downloads. I regularly scour the web looking for undiscovered gems. My taste in music varies widely, and so there’s never a shortage of great music available for free (and legally!) as artists strive to make themselves known. A couple of great resources include bandcamp.com and noisetrade.com as well as makeuseof.com who puts out a list of 10 or so free downloads every Sunday.

Today, spurred by a discussion on Reddit, I decided to check bandcamp for classical music. Thats when I stumbled on this awesome orchestra. Their symphonic covers of current pop music actually makes me appreciate some songs that I wouldn’t otherwise give a second listen  I find them reminiscent of the 101 Strings Orchestra that always has a special place on my CD shelf.  I just felt the need to share.

Enjoy.

Aston

The new face of 101 Strings?

 

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Posted by on September 26, 2011 in better living, cheap, free, internet, music

 

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In Defense of Ebooks

Let me begin by saying one thing.  I love books. I don’t love books on quite the same level my wife does, but I love them, none the less.  The tactile experiences of holding a bound tome in hand, feeling the texture of the paper pages, smelling the aging ink, and enjoying the way light plays on the imperfections in the paper are all things that will always ensure that phsyical books are welcome in my home. Looking at a shelf full of books is a pleasant thing, and few things in life are as exciting as opening a book and finding  a long forgotten, pressed four-leaf clover.  All that said, there are plenty of reasons for taking advantage of electronic versions of books.

Ebooks are easier to carry than paper books, I can literally carry over 100 books in my pocket in the form of a memory card.  I can easily switch titles without getting up, walking across the room, and figuring out which shelf I stored that particular book on.  I can change the format of the written word on the fly to ensure that the font is of a comfortable size.  Think, too, of the cost (monetary and environmental) and energy that goes into printing books vs. making digital copies available.  I know, ereaders aren’t exactly zero-carbon, but when you consider the number of books you can read on one, it doesn’t take long to reach an equilibrium.   What I really enjoy, though, is the freedom of having such a wide variety of books available for little or no cost at the touch of a button; try browsing your local library or books-a-million in your underwear and see how far you make it before they throw you out.

Lately, I’ve found myself enamored with older, public domain classics.  There’s scads of wisdom and entertainment to be found in the works of some of those long past authors, and there’s a plentiful supply of their writings available for free.  As a gentleman beggar, it’s that last word that really grabs my attention–“free”.  With programs like Project Gutenberg in action, an ever expanding catalog of history’s knowledge is available at no more than the cost of a few seconds of browsing online and downloading a file.  With devices like the Amazon Kindle, Sony eReader, the Kobo, and Barnes & Noble’s Nook, there’s little reason not to take advantage of public domain works.

If you are reading this, you obviously have access to a computer.  If the current high price of a dedicated ereading device seems a tad daunting, there’s always software for the pc (mac, iPad, smartphone, too!) that will let you take advantage of pretty much any format ebook you can download.  Amazon offers a desktop version of their Kindle software, as does Barnes & Noble.  Fbreader is another great option, along with Mobipocket reader, and others.  If you find that you need to convert between ebook formats, there’s always programs like Calibre available.  The best thing about all these programs?  They don’t cost you a dime.  My personal favorite right now is Mobipocket reader; it works a treat on my netbook and its two-page at a time view evokes the feeling of an open paperback without the struggle of keeping it open.

If you’re looking for some good ebooks, I can’t recommend the site Manybooks.net enough.  It is an awesome online library of public domain and creative commons works, all free of charge.  You can search the books by genre, author, title, and in various other ways as well.  There’s a special collections section that groups books by theme, and they even have the books organized by Library of Congress categories for those of you who find that convenient.  One great feature of the site is the shelf system.  Once you register (for free), you can start creating multiple shelves for keeping up with books you’ve found on the site.  You can choose to make your shelves available to others, too, if you think others might enjoy your collection.  Since finding the site, I’ve downloaded a stack of books that will likely keep me busy reading for a couple of years–all at no cost. Manybooks also links to audio copies of their books, usually recorded by the Librivox project, when available, to those of you who prefer to listen to a good book.  Probably the best feature of Manybooks is the plethora of options you have for file formats.  They have the books available in most of the major formats including Kindle and Sony eReader compatible files.  One really impressive option includes the custom pdf format.  You can choose the size you want your pages to be so that the pdf will display properly on the reader of your choice.

So, if you feel like a little reading this evening, get yourself a good ereader program or device, check out manybooks.net and settle in for a grand adventure.  Here’s a link to my ever growing shelf to get you started.

 
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Posted by on August 7, 2010 in better living, internet, review

 

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Jump Around!

Every once in a while, something comes along that is so inspired and awesome that it makes my inner child giggle with glee.  I stumbled across this excellent music video made by Jonathan Wrigley and just had to share it.  It’s a perfect blend of Bollywood and early 90’s hip-hop.   Enjoy it, and don’t fight the urge to Jump Around!

If you’re like me, that was enough to get you curious about the original music to the video. Well, with just a little research, I was able to track down the scene that was cut up to make that gem. Seeing it in its original form, just makes the editing that much more spectacular.

 
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Posted by on April 13, 2010 in humour, internet, music

 

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What Happens When a Peanut Goes Missing?

Authorities fear he was assaulted.

I’m sure I’ve pointed it out before, but I’d just like to remind folks about my other blog–One Nut Shy.  It’s kind of like Garfield Minus Garfield, only with the Charlie Brown gang.  I’ve been on a long hiatus from making new ones, and I doubt I’ll be on any sort of regular schedule any time soon, but please, feel free to check out the 100+ comics that are up.  I’m particularly proud of a few of them, and I hope you’ll enjoy them, too.

 
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Posted by on April 6, 2010 in humour, internet

 

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An Open Letter to NBC

Dear NBC,

Ours has been, as of late, a tenuous relationship. Since Seinfeld left you, you just haven’t been the same. I have found my interest in you waining over the last several years, and have had little reason to visit with you. You continue to hang out with people like Traci Morgan, Alec Baldwin, and Tina Fey, and I can’t really condone that. I won’t even mention what you do on Saturday nights! Let’s just say that I, and a whole lot of other sensible people, don’t find it funny, and we wish you would change something. The whole “situation” with the guy with the gigantic chin and the other guy with the freakish red hair a few weeks ago hasn’t help your image any. Now you’re saying I can’t even watch your redheaded kid do his amazing stunts in the backyard unless I put on special silver clothes. This wouldn’t be so bad, but you’ve been putting up fliers all over town bragging about how awesome your child is. Do you know how uncomfortable those special clothes are? My friend Linus can barely even wear them!! Poor Mr. Toorvalds, I bet he’d enjoy watching Shaun’s magic show. I’m very disappointed in you, NBC–very disappointed, indeed.

I can’t be your friend until you change,
Gentlemanbeggar

 
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Posted by on February 19, 2010 in internet, Open Source, tongueincheek

 

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Inger-Gay Ogers-Ray!

Sometimes you just need to see Ginger Rogers singing “We’re in the Money” in pig latin:

 
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Posted by on February 10, 2010 in humour, internet, music

 

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The Joy of Painting Bob Ross

I watch my website stats pretty closely, and it occurs to me that my most popular post is a Mother’s Day post from a couple of years ago in which I posted a typical picture of Bob Ross sitting at his canvas.  This picture brings in about 80% of all the traffic to this blog.  Bob is apparently a quite popular fellow.  So in the interest of shamelessly fishing for more blog traffic, I’ve decided to have some fun with Bob and offer some variations on a theme.  I hope you enjoy.

Bob Ross

The Original Bob Ross

Bob Ross cartoon

Cartoon Bob Ross

Bob Ross painting by the numbers

So that was the true secret of Bob Ross's success!

Bald Bob Ross

Who loves ya, baby?! Bob Ross, that's who!

Bob Ross painting Pocahontas

Little known fact: Bob Ross had a thing for historical Native American figures.

Bob Ross with an even bigger afro.

I'll never forget the time that Bob Ross shampooed with Rogaine.

Bob Ross with a "trendy" haircut

Then there was the time Bob Ross listened to network exec suggestions.

Bob Ross with birthday cake

I'll never forget the time Bob Ross wished me a happy birthday.

Bob Ross with growing afro

This is how I imagine Bob Ross looks to stoners.

Bob Ross "Rick Roll"

What's a nonsense post about Bob Ross without a little "Rickroll" thrown in?

I hope you have enjoyed this Bob Ross tribute as much as I enjoyed making it.  Please, feel free to leave a comment and share your favorite Bob Ross memory.  I’d love to hear what Bob Ross meant to you.

 
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Posted by on January 28, 2010 in humour, internet, tongueincheek

 

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