2012 — 30 May: Wednesday

A rather greyer start this morning.1 Suits the dreadful news coming in from Syria. The only counter to which is the soothing music on BBC Radio 3.

Moving on...

... I'm glad to have solved yesterday's mystery of the 'missing' third screen. And I was intrigued to find this little snippet buried on page 44 of the manual for Len's new A/V receiver:


Courtesy of the same Qdeo scaling technology now being used by Onkyo (and Oppo) in place of my (apparently now venerable) VRS chipsets. Curiously, this higher resolution is still delivered through an hdmi connection which rather makes me wonder about yesterday's "legacy" description.

Progress, heh? Where would we be without it?

Received wisdom...

... is all too rarely quite what it's cracked up to be. Consider this piece on BF Skinner, who developed his theory of operant conditioning in the 1930s. Source and snippet:

A prim but engaging woman, Vargas can't seem to help seething a bit about how her father's work was perceived. She showed me a letter written in 1975 by the then wildly popular and influential pediatrician Benjamin Spock, who had been asked to comment on Skinner's work for a documentary. "I'm embarrassed to say I haven't read any of his work," Spock wrote, "but I know that it's fascist and manipulative, and therefore I can't approve of it."

David H Freeman in the Atlantic

I confess I retain a (possibly unhealthy) interest in psychology...


... being fascinated by what does (and does not) go on inside my skull.

I recalled reading, and re-discovered as I was about to discard it, a piece in "Scientific American" by Marcus E Raichle about The Brain's Dark Energy...

Of the virtually unlimited information available in the world around us, the equivalent of 10 billion bits per second arrives on the retina at the back of the eye. Because the optic nerve attached to the retina has only a million output connections, just six million bits per second can leave the retina, and only 10,000 bits per second make it to the visual cortex.
After further processing, visual information feeds into the brain regions responsible for forming our conscious perception. Surprisingly, the amount of information constituting that conscious perception is less than 100 bits per second...

Date: March 2010

Why do I worry about high-definition TV, I wonder?

O<U>T and about

I'm shocked, I tell you, shocked... to discover among my MP3s a hauntingly different version of Judie Tzuke's utterly beautiful 1979 song "For you", this time by Kirsty Hawkshaw. When and where the hell did that come from, I wonder?2 I've just ordered a used copy of her 1998 CD. I suspect the title may be an acronym for "On Ultimate Things" but I'm often mistaken.

Having been...

... distracted there for a while by some supplies shopping and the need for lunch, I can now demonstrate my utter failure as any form of completeist. A critical mass3 of my chums has been suggesting for a while that I really ought to give the new TV "Sherlock" more of a chance. Plus there was a two Blu-rays-for-only £3-more than just the second one deal on the two Guy Ritchie film variants. Hence Mr Postie's delivery earlier today:

DVD and BDs

Though why both Blu-rays also throw in superfluous DVDs and some form of inane digital download still irritates me.

This chap...

... continues to tickle me:





1  And a surprisingly welcome 22.9C down in the living room.
2  Yet another treasure that was buried among the files I rescued for Chris and Gill from their failing network hard drive a couple of months ago. It's taking me a while to work my way through the many artists new to me.
3  Is there any other kind?