23 October 2012
05 September 2012
In honor of John Cage's 100th birthday, I would like to call attention to a fine application note from Maxim Semiconductor, describing a simple circuit for generating random noise. As can be seen in Figure 2, the circuit generates a practical white Gaussian noise signal from DC to several hundred Megahertz.
I've been meaning to build myself one of these circuits for years--not for the alleged pleasure of pretending to enjoy aleatoric nonsense while in the company of academic snobs, but for the practical purpose of testing communication circuits in a noisy environment.
1. Both figures are from the application note, "Building a Low-Cost White-Noise Generator," Maxim Semiconductor, March 14, 2005, http://pdfserv.maximintegrated.com/en/an/AN3469.pdf.
25 August 2012
Democrats have urged the central bank to take steps to bolster growth, pointing to high unemployment, but Republicans have urged caution, pointing to the risk of inflation and a weaker dollar.
16 August 2012
04 July 2012
Chief Justice Roberts concluded in Part III-A that the individual mandate is not a valid exercise of the Congress’s power under the Commerce Clause and the Necessary and Proper Clause . . . Construing the Commerce Clause to permit Congress to regulate individuals precisely because they are doing nothing would open a new and potentially vast domain to congressional authority.
It is necessary to turn to the Government’s alternative argument: that the mandate may be upheld as within Congress’s power to “lay and collect Taxes.” . . . Because “every reasonable construction must be resorted to, in order to save a statute from unconstitutionality,” Hooper v. California, . . . the question is whether it is “fairly possible” to interpret the mandate as imposing such a tax.[C, emphasis mine]
03 May 2012
(Before we started 3 Ring Binder and One Reality, Lynne and I had collaborated on a blog in which we rated movies that we had watched. It was a fun way to force ourselves to write a couple of paragraphs every now and then. We had let it lapse unattended for years, but recently we added a few posts, including one for the movie The Debt. Because this movie was so outstanding, and because my comments ventured into areas that I typically cover on One Reality, I thought I would cross-post my write-up here.)
02 May 2012
29 April 2012
I've been following the Parker Quartet for a few years now, but I had never seen them live until last night's performance at the Kalliroscope Gallery. They were magnificent: four extraordinarily well-matched musicians bursting with dynamic energy and exhibiting a precise control over emotions that threatened to brim beyond containment.
This was evident in the rich Mozart String Quartet No. 23 in F Major, K. 590 (which I was not familiar with) and in the radiant romanticism of one of my favorite pieces, Schumann's A Major String Quartet (Op. 41, No. 3)--but it was especially so in the Janáček String Quartet No. 2, the so-called "Intimate Letters" quartet, which is an almost exhausting progression of achingly lovely passages and phrases mixed with violent agitation. It is a piece that benefits from multiple listens, so it left my daughter a little perplexed (in our chat after the concert, she repeatedly referred to the quartet as "the angry one"), but for me, hearing the familiar music in the vividness of a live setting for the first time, wrapped in an envelope of intensity created by musicians who were almost literally within arms' reach, was the highlight of the evening.
To give you a taste of the Parker Quartet, here is a video of them playing the first movement of another one of my favorite pieces of chamber music: the Brahms' String Quartet No. 2 in A minor (Op. 51, No. 2).
28 March 2012
The Supreme Court completed their third day of listening to arguments for and against the constitutionality of President Obama's "Affordable Care Act." Now we wait.
I lack the legal acumen to judge whether or not Obamacare is technically constitutional, but there are only two possible outcomes to the Supreme Court's ruling: Either Obamacare will be declared to be blatantly, viciously unconstitutional, or the United States Constitution is an empty and meaningless document.
In this sense, it is not Obamacare that is being judged, but the Constitution itself. If Obamacare--in particular, the "individual mandate"--is somehow deemed to be a permissible exercise of federal power over citizens, then there is literally nothing that the government cannot force us to do.
21 March 2012
07 March 2012
I like this lovely, gentle video of Simone Dinnerstein performing Franz Schubert's Impromptu in G-flat Major, from the Op. 90 set. Her father created the artwork shown throughout the video.
Ms. Dinnerstein was featured recently on The Bach Hour on my local radio station. If you have an hour to spend, it is worth listening to.
29 February 2012
I might look at the constitution of
. That was a deliberate attempt to have a fundamental instrument of government that embraced basic human rights, had an independent judiciary. It really is, I think, a great piece of work that was done. Much more recently than the South Africa USconstitution— has a Charter of Rights and Freedoms. It dates from 1982. You would almost certainly look at the European Convention on Human Rights. So, yes, why not take advantage of what there is elsewhere in the world? Canada