The Year In Theatre
When the work day ends you are most likely to find me somewhere in the greater Seattle area at one of the many local theatres. By most likely I mean that in 2013 I went to 310 different things. Or, looking at it another way, 5.9 events a week. It’s crazy how the numbers stack up over the course of the year. That means that I probably see more shows than just about anyone in the city. With that in mind, one of the local theatre columnists did an interview with me looking back on the year that was. You can read that at The Stranger.
Bonus! The Stranger interview was released before I posted my top ten shows of the year. For the curious, here is the complete list. Should you find yourself in Seattle and looking for entertainment, this list of companies is a great place to start.
1. Undo – Annex Theatre
2. Compagnie Marie Chouinard – UW World Series
3. Two Rooms – Confrontational Theater
4. The Underneath – Annex Theatre
5. Paige Barnes Performances: Naked – Project Space Available
6. Catherine Cabeen And Company | Fire – On The Boards
7. The Taming – ArtsWest
8. A Beginning – The Pendleton House
9. Jesus Christ Superstar – Burien Little Theatre
10. The Totally True And Almost Accurate Adventures Of Pinocchio – Balagan Theatre
The HP Museum
Let’s jump in the wayback machine. The march of technology is a pretty remarkable thing. Most of us are probably packing more computing power in our cell phones than we had in our home computers ten years ago. And those differences get really crazy when you start looking back 30 and 40 years. The HP Computer Museum gives you a chance to do just that. It chronicles all the various products from 1966-1992.
It is a fun look at our computing history. The bit that really floors me is the printers. While servers and desktops have relatively short lifespans, printers just keep going. As evidenced by the 2934. It was released in 1993, but we have actually sold them this year. A full thirty years after their introduction. In fact, that warranty sticker from 1989 at the top of the post is from that very printer.
The world’s thinnest mechanical watch
This is the Piaget Altiplano 900P. It is a beautiful watch, but its claim to fame is that it is the world’s thinnest mechanical watch, coming in at just 3.65 mm (.14 in) thick. That is an astounding bit of engineering. To give you an idea of just how astounding, there are 145 parts inside that 3.65 mm. But it sends my mind down a completely different path, calling to mind the current cell phone ecosystem.
We are all more than familiar with the race to thin that exists with cell phones. Every new phone has to be thinner than the last and it is always a huge marketing point. It’s also completely wrong. Cell phones don’t need to be thinner. Once they got to the point that they would fit in most pants pockets, they were thin enough. How many times have you heard someone lament that their phone isn’t 1 mm thinner? And how many times have you heard someone complain about their phone’s battery? Or camera? Batteries and cameras are both things that could greatly benefit from a couple extra millimeters.
The Piaget 900P then, represents where crazed thinness belongs. A marvel that shows that it can be done that exists in small numbers as an exclusive niche. The rest of the watch making industry isn’t joining them in a war that takes all watches to this extreme. There are still plenty of people crafting excellent 12 or 13 mm thick watches. Thicker cell phones, on the other hand, are the bargain bin, featuring out of date technology and a decided lack of features.
Unbelievable Martyn Ashton bicycle video
More amazing video! The Gou Miyagi skateboard video from the other day was incredible. This road bike video featuring Martyn Ashton is even better.
360° Power Lap with The Stig
Technology continues to march on. As mentioned yesterday, the internet and camera technology have given us access to all manner of things we wouldn’t otherwise have been able to see. Here, we take that up another notch. Not only do you get to see The Stig doing a power lap in a Mercedes SLS… you also get to control the camera. The technology is from VISUALISE, and it is rather amazing. The possibilities as this technology grows are extraordinary. You think the NFL is popular now? Wait until fans can be dropped right on the field and look around. Or what about a movie where you are free to look wherever you like? It will add a whole new twist, and increase replay-ability dramatically. For now though, some say he knows two facts about ducks and both of them are wrong, and that he roams around the woods at night foraging for wolves. All we know is… Go watch the video.
Gou Miyagi is amazing
Thanks to the internet and advances in camera technology, we now have access to all sorts of things that we never would have seen back in the day. Action sports have taken full advantage of both of those things. It’s pretty easy to fall down a youtube rabbit hole watching video after video. This one, featuring Gou Miyagi, is one of the best that I have seen.
Water plume seen on Jupiter moon Europa
The wonders of space, never cease. It has long been theorized that Europa has a liquid ocean below its frozen crust. Now, it seems that images taken by the Hubble Space Telescopt have captured a large cloud of hydrogen and oxygen on the moon’s south pole. Modeling suggests that Europa could be spouting 3000 kilograms of water per second. Head over to the New Scientist article for more on what this might mean for future space missions, and an idea of why it took so long to capture a plume.
A short and sweet Friday treat. Go to the Space Needle website, and scroll, scroll, scroll.
OS/2, This Is Your Life
Do you remember IBM’s OS/2? Chances are that if you have been in the computer game for a while, it at least rings a few bells. And if you have been in the computer game for a long while, you may have even used it back in the day. But how well do you know the history of OS/2 and its place in the war between IBM and Microsoft for PC dominance? It is a fascinating story, chronicled amazingly well in this post at Ars Technica.
Jeremy Reimer walks through the whole saga, from the first deal between the companies, to the crushing end when IBM finally threw in the towel and sold their PC business to Lenovo. Along the way there are all kinds of interesting bits. Like the fact that OS/2 2.0 came on 21 floppies. Remember that? Or how the OS/2 Warp name ran afoul of Paramount and Star Trek. You may also be surprised to learn that OS/2 is actuallly still in use today, under a different name. And one of my favorites, this horrible ad. It was the early 90s. Why would the aging cast of M.A.S.H. seem like a good marketing idea?
The whole thing is a fantastic look at a part of our computing history that really shaped the world as we know it today. I’m also fascinated by the fact that it really could have gone the other way. OS/2 wasn’t without its merits. This paragraph sums it up well.
It makes one wonder what might have been.
45 years of the mouse
The mouse is something we take for granted in our modern technical world, but it wasn’t always like that. Huffington Post has an interesting article celebrating the 45th anniversary of the little workhorse that has become a part of our every day. It all started in December of 1968, when Douglas Engelbart demoed the new gadget at the Fall Joint Computer Conference. Also worth noting is that he had actually invented it four years earlier, but had yet to reveal it. It really is one of the greatest inventions of our modern times. Perhaps the best evidence of that is the simple fact that it is still in widespread use today in, essentially, the exact same form factor.