Lynda gets a cover photo!

Lynda gets a cover photo!

Good friend Lynda Hadley scores a cover photo spot in the current issue of Science Magazine. Way to go, Lynda!

The cone is picking up gases that come off the flame below, which are analyzed. The process shown revealed suprising new intermediates in the combusion process.

Dave Holland, Jazz in China, and Censorship

The Winnipeg Sun has a clever title for this article though: Spotlight – Holland invaded China – two times

As the Chinese government slowly eased its restrictions on jazz, bassist Dave Holland had a whole new audience to win over.

The communist government banned what it deemed decadent music when it came to power in 1949, driving the once thriving jazz community in places like Shanghai — known as the jazz centre of Asia — underground.

The ban was lifted in the mid- 1980s, and western artists have slowly been allowed to visit the country. Holland has toured the country twice, finding a new generation of die-hard fans getting turned on to the music denied from their parents.

“China is obviously a developing situation. For many years they were denied access to jazz and if caught playing it, you were in trouble. For that reason alone it’s a developing thing, but there’s a dedicated and serious group of people that love the music,” he says.

“It just goes to show you music crosses political borders and geographic borders and touches peoples’ hearts.”

For almost 40 years Holland’s new fans in China had no way of hearing one of the most respected and talented bassists and composers to emerge from the exploding jazz scenes in England and America in the 1960s and ’70s.

Being denied the appreciation of art in any form is a terrible tragedy of censorship, and it makes absolutely no sense. My America is no stranger to this practice – from the historic cases of censoring James Joyce, Henry Miller, and John Steinbeck all the way up to today, the Land of the Free still must struggle to counter the tyranny of thought oppression.

Battery Death

O sweet maiden, taken from us in her blossoming youth. How we shall miss you.

The battery in my PowerBook (1 GHz G4, 12″, October 2003) lasted a whole 15 minutes tonight, from full charge to complete breakdown without warning. I’m calling this one. Time of death: 8:15 PM. We probably could have dragged this one out, but that wouldn’t have been the merciful thing to do. She’s dead, Jim.

And what is up with the wireless signal after upgrading to 10.4? I am consistently getting poor reception after that upgrade. Maybe the antenna wiggled itself loose or something. Or maybe that thing is dying too.

And by the way, I am down below 1 GB of free disk space again. I have already uninstalled every damn game I own but the constant creep of music files is overpowering this poor pathetic lap warmer. I wish I could hold out for one of these, but “early next year” is a bit of a showstopper. I may have to settle for a 100G for now.

Damn computers.

New pad!

We scored. After searching a little over a year in the insanity of the Bay Area housing market, we finally went into a contract on a new home. I am too psyched about this.

The place itself is around 2000 square feet, more or less depending on if you count the carpeted attic space, and the master bedroom has loft space which is perfect for setting up as my practice/office corner. The carpeted attic storage space is right behind the loft, so it just screams for all the sheet music, networking junk, and office equipment to be stowed away out of sight in there. It has a formal dining, living, family, kitchen, and finally, a 2 car garage. The living area is a perfect space for Yingwen’s piano teaching. There is a patio in the back with a little pond, which is just totally cool. No doubt Max will spend hours in front of that thing, trying to catch minnows or whatever. The location is close to lots of good amenities, excellent schools, and it shaves off at least ten minutes off my commute time. Schwing!

And it’s within reasonable range of my favorite mountain biking trail. Now I just need to get up off my lazy butt and get riding again — the loop between the new place and the top of that trail should be about 1 full hour of punishment so it’s perfect for after work, and the trail itself is a good inlet and trainer for the rest of the Mt. Diablo trail structure, including the summit. I’m outta shape, so we’ll have to make the full monty of getting back to the summit more of a year-end type of goal…