You are currently browsing the Breaching The Web blog archives for November, 2005.

Best ever

November 23rd, 2005

A while ago, I posted about how I put together an ever-changing workout playlist in iTunes based on beats per minute.

Today, I got up at 5am, dragged myself to the gym, got on the treadmill, hit play and heard the very best ever workout playlist. It was fantastic. Every song is great fun, and the pace was perfect. And, even better, it’s a deeply weird combination of artists. So here’s the list for your perusal (the link is to free — and legal — mp3’s):

Cotton Eyed Joe, Rednex
I Like ‘Em Big and Stupid, Julie Brown
A Certain Romance, Arctic Monkeys*
The Happiest Place on Earth, Desaparecidos
Autonomy, Heartless Bastards
Everyday is a Fight, Todd Deatherage
It’s Over, The Gossip
My Sharona, The Knack
Bails of Cocaine, Reverend Horton Heat
Stranglehold, Ted Nugent
Blister in the Sun, Violent Femmes

* This is the only track that wasn’t perfect. The intro is a bit ponderous, and the song feels somehow lazy to me.

War on us all

November 21st, 2005

The most recent Sutton Impact cartoon speaks the truth:

sutton-big.jpg

So ashamed

November 17th, 2005

So now, in addition to torturing people, my country is using incendiary white phosphorus shells against civillians, even though the 1980 UN Convention on Certain Weapons bans their use against civilians. The US maintains that their use was legal and denies that they were used against civilians.

The current government of my country has no credibility — they lied about WMD, they lied about torture, they lied about the 2000 and 2004 elections, and frankly it doesn’t matter right now if they are lying about WP or not. The real shame of this situtation is that the Bush administration is so full of liars that assuming a lie is a better bet than assuming a truth.

How many more weblog entries will I write in the next three years that are titled with some variation of the word shame?

Yay me!

November 17th, 2005

Yesterday, over my lunch, I came up with holiday gifts for every single person on my list, save one. And not only that, but these are good gifts — thoughtful, unusual, and interesting. I’m excited about this — I find Christmas shopping really hard, so this is an achievment for me. Now, to figure out what to get that one last person….

Wrath

November 14th, 2005

The Baltimore City Paper has a story about Les Kinsolving, the maverick right-wing radio talk show host that dogs White House press briefings with wacky questions. The story is worth a read — Kinsolving is not nearly as two-dimensional as one might think.

The story includes this excerpt from a 1982 briefing, where Kinsolving grills Larry Speakes, Reagan’s press secretary, about AIDS. It’s chilling, and reinforces the blind hate and anger I’ve felt for a long time about how the Reagan White House approached AIDS.

Les Kinsolving: Larry, does the president have any reaction to the announcement

Workout Playlist

November 10th, 2005

I have started a new excercise routine — cardio on various machines and some light, toning-type weights. And I’ve been carting my beloved Lurleen (a 20 gig iPod) to the gym with me. Through trial and error, I’ve discovered that having the right music to listen to makes a big difference in my workout — with the right music, it’s more fun, seems faster and easier, and I can do more reps and heavier weights.

So clearly, having the right music is key.

But what is the right music? Again through trial and error, I figured out that it has to be somewhat unassuming (no weighty political protests for me at the gym), cheery, and most importantly it must have between 135 and 150 beats per minute (bpm). Slower and I don’t work hard enough, faster and I get discouraged because I can’t keep up.

I decided to be a bit more systematic about the music I listen to at the gym, so I put together a smart playlist that has 1 song at 120-125 bpm, 1 song at 125-130 bpm, 3 songs at 130-140 bpm, 3 songs at 140-150 bpm (I’m going to up this to 4), and 1 song at 150+ bpm. The songs in each category are selected by “least played” so that every time I synch Lurleen, I get new songs. Also, because some songs with the right bpm aren’t really gym songs because they are too heavy or demanding or don’t have the right mood, I use a keyword in the comments to select only “gym” songs.

For songs that were ripped as mp3’s, I used the MixMeister BPM Analyzer to calculate the bpm. It’s not 100% accurate, but it’s very close and good enough for my purposes.

To fine tune the MixMeister results, and to calculate bpm for songs that were ripped as AAC files, I used BPMCounter which allows you to tap the mouse key to determine the bpm of a given song.

We have a bazillion songs in iTunes — not sure of the total right now, but it’s well over 40 gigs, so I’m only calculating bpm for AAC songs that I think are good candidates for the gym playlist.

Here’s what’s on my gym playlist right now:

Jump, Van Halen
Keep Yourself Alive, Queen
Smokin’ In The Boys’ Room, Motley Crue
Don’t Sweat It, Toothfairy
Panama, Van Halen
One Man’s Dream, Stratocats
Freedom of Choice, Devo
Stranglehold, Ted Nugent
I Got the Six, ZZ Top
Alcohol, Barenaked Ladies

It’s a fun list, and more importantly, it keeps me moving at the gym.

UPDATE: People, people, please calm down and stop e-mailing and IM’ing me. I did not say that this was my “favorite music” playlist or my “best music ever” playlist or even my “ok to listen to every once in a while but not great playlist.” I said it was my gym playlist, and the requirements for it are not musical, they are functional. So relax. Van Halen’s Jump is not in fact my favorite song, nor is Motley Crue my favorite band (if it was, I would have looked up the code to make that little umlaut mark above the u). I do, however, really, really like that Devo song — say what you like about that, but sticks and stones can’t hurt me.

Crafty Goodness

November 9th, 2005

I love crafters of all sorts, but I have a special kind of love for crafter that can create a whole world out of their art. Today’s example of this special type of craft is the Vegetable Liberation Army. I am particularly in love with Pilgrim Tater and Killer Korn. The technical perfection and characters are just amazing.

Quote of the Day

November 8th, 2005

“As nightfall does not come at once, neither does oppression. In both instances, there’s a twilight where everything remains seemingly unchanged, and it is in such twilight that we must be aware of change in the air, however slight, lest we become unwitting victims of the darkness.” William O. Douglas

Divine Indeed

November 7th, 2005

The Seattle Weekly has an exerpt from Stephanie Hendricks’s new book Divine Destruction: Wise Use, Dominion Theology, and the Making of American Environmental Policy. The book is about the marriage of Wise Use, a conservative anti-environmental movement and the particular kind of fundamentalist Christianity that George W. practices.

It’s terrifying.

Wise Use holds that whatever environmental problems we might have will be solved by leaders in technology, industry, and trade — NOT by the environmental movement. Wise Use has co-opted the tactics of social movements by creating citizen-based organizations to lobby for industry. Reconstructionist Christianity — a version of Evangelical Christianity that holds that it is our responsibility to create a Christian Republic here in the United States, and then spawn them elsewhere — holds that there is no point in preserving or conserving the environment, since we are living in the end times.

The marriage of these two doctrines results in a religiously motivated war against not just environmentalism, but the environment itself, that is deeply disturbing. The key to this marriage is Genesis 1:28:

God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

Wise Use advocates and Christian Reconstructionists interpret this passage to mean that the earth is ours to rape. In Sunday School, I was taught that this passage meant that humans were to be good stewards of the earth and that God had created it both for us to use and for us to care for. But what do I know. I grew up as one of those liberal Methodists.

I’m so glad I don’t have children. The future we are building for them is going to be dangerous, ugly and poor.