Monday, August 14, 2006

Baby Rose

Introducing "Baby Rose". She's the latest in my "Flower Children" series - isn't she sweet? This design will be featured on new products in my shop, Tickled Pink Designs, later today or tomorrow when I can get the chance. I have added quite a few new designs to my shop (for those of you who haven't looked lately). Don't forget to check out my prints, posters and greeting cards! By the way, I have a discount coupon in my store that I believe is expiring today - I'm not allowed to put it in my blog, evidently, so you must look in Tickled Pink Designs.I hope you all enjoy the display of Mount Etna and Tungurahua that was just posted this morning (due to me not realizing that my last post was not published). I found it totally fascinating and thought the volcano sounded very classical!

Friday, August 11, 2006

Mother Earth Sings

Volcanoes may reveal secrets through 'song'

Active volcanoes are being made to "sing" by researchers who convert seismic data into frequencies audible to human ears. Although the volcanoes are unlikely to sell many records, the technique could make it easier to detect patterns that warn of an eruption.

High-powered computers are being used to convert seismic readings from Mount Etna in Sicily and Tungurahua in Ecuador into audible rumbles, roars, beeps, and even piano music.

The technique, known as "sonification", is used to help people detect patterns in complex data. Research has shown that people find it easier to detect patterns audibly rather than visually. While the eye can quickly become confused by visual representations of very complex data, the ear is very good at sorting patterns from random noise.

"The human ear is a logorithmic device. It's much more sensitive than the human eye," says Roberto Barbera, a physicist at the University of Catania in Italy. "We can figure things out that we couldn't otherwise." Barbera and colleagues at the University of Salerno, Italy, have been working at sonifying the data from Mount Etna, one of the most active volcanoes in the world. Recently they added information from the Ecuadorian volcano.

Avant-garde piano
Sonification is very computer intensive, so the researchers used the European GEANT2 and Latin American ALICE-RedCLARA research computer networks to process the information.

The researchers have made the volcanoes sound like heavy wind outside the window in one case, like a powerful engine idling in another. They also mapped the sounds onto MIDI piano, resulting in some avant-garde-sounding pieces. Listen to the piano versions of Mount Etna and Tungurahua in action.

Bruce Walker, a psychologist at the Georgia Institute of Technology, US, says that a number of researchers are experimenting with sonification to help them analyse complex information. "The auditory system is the best pattern recognition device we have. If you're trying to find patterns in complex, time-varying data, then listening to it is much more effective than looking at it," he says.

Mount Etna and Tungurahua in action.

12:40 10 August 2006, newsservice
Kurt Kleiner


Tuesday, August 08, 2006

School Daze

Are you all ready to send the kiddies off to school? Hard to believe summer is almost over, isn't it. Long, sun-filled lazy days in the sun, trips to the pool or beach with the incumbant sopping wet, sand-encrusted towels and feet, red slurpy splots on tee-shirts, and wet-doggy smells are put away with other joyful summer memories. Its time now to readjust to the new standard:the "school daze". Some children adapt readily, while thinking excitedly of new teachers, new friends, wonderful new subjects to test their scholarly abilities and brand new "so cool" outfits to show off. Others resignate themselves to another school year as just another part of life to endure. Hopefully you don't have the rebellious type of child who will fight as if his or her life is now in danger of extinction! Its a time of adjustment for everyone, and you may find yourself going around in a daze for a few days. This is much harder than daylight-savings-time! Worse than jet-lag! Maybe not quite as bad as the flu! Regardless of how we handle the change, most of us DO adapt - after all, aren't humans known for their adaptability? Soon we'll all be going with the flow again, and summer will remain in our memories as "one of the best ever"!

Buttercup Baby Kids Baseball Jersey

Wired Kids T-Shirt

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Going Polar

Its still summer and it is! This may be the hottest its been all over the nation since 1933! This made me decide to bring out my polar bear print. I'll be putting it on t-shirts today on Cafepress while sitting at my computer under the ceiling fan. I imagine the poor polar bears are thinking about how warm they are, too. They would have to be with the ice melting out from under them! And they can't even take off their winter coats....



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