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Comment: Re:Here's a better idea (Score 1) 678

by denobug (#49511983) Attached to: William Shatner Proposes $30 Billion Water Pipeline To California
why don't we reserved all the residential usage and some quota for criticalinfrastructure. Agriculture and mining users can bid to use the surface and underground water - after general public has their fair share of water usage.

Free market at its best. Let them pay for the water they reap profit from.

Comment: Re:BASICally my reply is... (Score 1) 259

by denobug (#48991695) Attached to: Washington May Count CS As Foreign Language For College Admission
Sorry, your argument still does not convince me that learning foreign is not a good thing. Learning languages are suppose to be difficult and the two years in HS only get someone an intro more than anything else. But honestly, with very little curriculum we are now providing students to learn what else can provide an positive learning experience besides keeping foreign language. It is not like students today will be picking up more rigorous science classes in-liu of the foreign language requirements.

If we drop two years of foreign language I expect ALL students to complete physics, biology, chemistry, and one advanced science course, plus a requirement to complete Calculus before graduating HS.

Sounds impossible or unrealistic? Yeah I think so too. Better keep the foreign language requirement then.

Comment: Re:Hold on (Score 3, Interesting) 188

by MyLongNickName (#48370439) Attached to: Philae Lands Successfully On Comet

Now that I think about it, if Philae did not bounce off of the comet, then the screws must be doing their job and I would think the harpoons might not be needed at all. I would assume the harpoons were in the plans because the engineers couldn't be sure the screws would work on the surface of a comet.

Comment: Re:Hold on (Score 1) 188

by MyLongNickName (#48370383) Attached to: Philae Lands Successfully On Comet

My understanding is that the harpoons were one of two ways that ESA was going to secure the probe to the comet. There were also screws that were supposed to attach the legs to the surface. So if they can still fire the harpoons they ought not have an issue with Philae flying off into space, but does anyone with more information on the relative strength of each? And if the harpoons could not be fired... what is the real risk of the probe shifting? I mean what would cause it to shift in the first place once settled on the comet?

Comment: Re:Cue lawsuits!! (Score 1) 107

by MyLongNickName (#48326131) Attached to: Landfill Copies of Atari's 'E.T.' End Up On eBay

Well, they can certainly file, but they would lose. I remember a business law case we went over many years ago where Hallmark Cards trashed a bunch of their cards, someone salvaged them and got sued. The case ruled against Hallmark. I'm not finding it in a Google, but remember the case from the class.

Comment: Concern or convenience? (Score 5, Interesting) 165

by MyLongNickName (#48309435) Attached to: Some Virgin Galactic Customers Demand Money Back

I wonder if some of these folks were already regretting their decision to tie up money in a space flight. People's finances change, life situations change, priorities change... and this is a convenient way to try to get out of the financial obligation.

No evidence on my part... just idle speculation.

Comment: Sparks but no flame: Pianist Dejan Lazic at Kenned (Score 4, Informative) 257

Grandiloquence is an occupational hazard for a solo musician. There you are, alone onstage, playing works that are acknowledged to be monumentally great with breathtaking ability. It can be hard to avoid assuming the trappings of greatness.

Exhibit A is Dejan Lazic, who made his Washington debut Saturday afternoon as part of the Washington Performing Arts Society's Hayes Piano Series at the Kennedy Center's Terrace Theater. Lazic, 33, is a pianist, composer and sometime clarinetist. A few years ago, he made a strong mark as a performing partner of cellist Pieter Wispelwey. More recently, his claim to fame was turning Brahms's violin concerto into something dubbed "Piano Concerto No. 3," which he recorded with the Atlanta Symphony earlier this year. The feat ranks somewhere on the "because it's there" spectrum of human achievement: attention-getting, large scale and a little empty.

His recital of Chopin and Schubert on Saturday was unfortunately on the same spectrum. The selection of those two composers is usually a way to demonstrate a pianist's sensitivity as well as his virtuosity. This performance, though, kept one eye fixed on monumentality. Some of the pieces, such as Chopin's Scherzo No. 2, sounded less like light solo piano works than an attempt to rival the volume of a concerto with full orchestra. This scherzo became cartoon-like in its lurches from minutely small to very, very large.

It's not that Lazic isn't sensitive - or profoundly gifted. The very first notes of Chopin's Andante Spianato and Grande Polonaise Brillante at the start of the program signalled that he can do anything he wants at the keyboard, detailing chords with a jeweler's precision, then laying little curls of notes atop a cushion of sound like diamonds nestled on velvet. Again and again, throughout the afternoon, he showed what a range of colors he could get out of the instrument, switching from hard-edged percussiveness to creamy legato, crackling chords to a single thread of sound. The sheer technical ability was, at first, a delight.

Soon, though, all of the finesse started to seem like an end in itself. Every nuance of the music was underlined visibly with a host of concert-pianist playacting gestures: head flung back at the end of a phrase; left hand conducting the right hand; or a whole ballet of fingers hovering over keys and picking out their targets before an opening note was even struck at the start of Chopin's Ballade No. 3. There were fine moments, but they stubbornly refused to add up to anything more than a self-conscious display of Fine Moments. The final movement of Chopin's Second Piano Sonata was in a way the most successful part of the program: sheer virtuosity, and perfectly unhinged.

Schubert's B-flat Sonata, D. 960, was a chance to shift into another gear and show a more reflective side, but it was a chance Lazic didn't quite take. The notes, again, were exquisitely placed, and there were things to like, but the human side fell short. All of the precision didn't help bring across the lyricism of the first movement's theme, or the threat of the bass growl that keeps warning off ease from the bottom of the keyboard. The second movement, instead of being a searching, tugging quest, was reduced to merely very pretty music.

The pianist was received with reasonably warm applause, but it didn't last long enough to draw an encore - which ought to get his attention. He's a pianist of prodigious gifts, and he's too good not to do better, to move beyond the music's challenges and into the realm of its soul.

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from a rigged demo. - Andy Finkel, computer guy

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