Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Monday, November 14, 2005

Trans Siberian Orchestra - Nov. 12, 2005 Wilkes-Barre PA

This is starting to turn into the concert review blog. Anyways, this was my third TSO show. They're always a good concert when they come to town, but the setlist doesn't seem to vary much. And this year, it seemed a little too early to be seeing a Christmas concert. They did most of Christmas Eve and Other Stories as the opening set, as usual, followed by a mix of rock and classical (and classic rock) -- this year's Zeppelin song was "Rock and Roll" (last year was "Immigrant Song," I believe).

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Springsteen - Nov. 8, 2005 Wachovia Spectrum, Philadelphia

This was a different show - not a huge stadium mega-concert, but simply solo Bruce on guitar, piano, organ, and, at one point, ukelele (I Wanna Marry You). The opening song used only harmonica and some kind of foot-powered thumping percussion panel, and the vocals were so distorted as to make the lyrics completely garbled, as if the sound was coming through an old, tinny radio heard from a distance. I had no idea what the song was, and I don't think most of the audience did either. This morning I found out it was Born in the USA. Go figure.

Otherwise, a great show. Different takes on a few songs - Johnny 99 was also fairly unrecognizable, unless you knew the words. It was great to hear the acoustic Atlantic City. This Hard Land was another highlight, along with a rocking Open All Night (quite a few from Nebraska, including Highway Patrolman -- loved hearing that live!).

So it was nice to see this intimate rendition of these great songs. I've been debating if I would have preferred the full band, over-the-top Bruce concert experience vs. this solo act (and since I've never seen Bruce with the full band, it's kind of hard to say). Anyway, setlist follows:
  • Born in the U.S.A.
  • Devils & Dust
  • The Ties That Bind
  • Long Time Comin'
  • Highway 29
  • Fade Away
  • Incident on 57th Street
  • Johnny 99
  • Ain't Got You
  • Atlantic City
  • Highway Patrolman
  • Reno
  • Be True
  • Drive All Night
  • The Rising
  • Further On (Up the Road)
  • Jesus Was an Only Son
  • This Hard Land
  • The Hitter
  • Matamoros Banks
  • I Wanna Marry You
  • Open All Night
  • The Promised Land
  • Dream Baby Dream

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

The Campaign to Make Poverty History

In the United States, you can get involved with the ONE campaign to make poverty history. Elsewhere in the world, please visit the Global Call to Action Against Poverty at http://www.whiteband.org/. Update: This article at Scientific American asks " Can Extreme Poverty Be Eliminated?" The answer: Yes. But we all need to participate.

A few thousand SF magazine covers

This cool Flash file lets you browse a few thousand science fiction magazine covers (Analog, Asimovs, etc.). Mouseover for a thumbnail, or click for a larger image.

Wal-Mart Watch

Wal-Mart only provides health insurance to about half their employees. Therefore, Wal-Mart employees rely on public health programs for health coverage. That's right - a company with amazing profits relies on taxpayers to cover employee health care costs. No wonder those profits are so amazing. Much more interesting information at Wal-Mart Watch.

Eerie Saturn sounds

NASA recording of radio emissions from Saturn.

Optical illusions

A couple of links to some interesting optical illusions (they do require the Flash plugin):