Odds and Ends

Popularity tracking of How to Save the World weblog

Dave’s Contest Winners:
As promised, I’ve selected three winning linkers to How to Save the World to commemorate my 1000th inbound linking source per Technorati. At the end of May, I had 1066 blogs linking to me, an increase of over 100 in the last month, putting me in 284th place in the blogosphere, first in Salon Blogs and fourth (I think) among Canadian blogs. My 1000th linker, as best as I can determine, was William Gillis’ Human Iterations. William is a student in Minneapolis-St Paul, a resident of Portland, and a definite political iconoclast. I selected randomly a previous linker from the Technorati lists, and the name I drew was Lois Ann Scheidt’s Professional-Lurker. She’s a lecturer at Indiana University, who’s written some interesting papers on adolescent bloggers. And I selected randomly an RSS subscriber from the Bloglines Public lists, and the name I drew was Katya at Oddio Overplay. Oddio is a site that catalogues and links to free, online, legal music of many genres — a site I was delighted to discover. Small prizes are on their way to all three winners. Thank you, readers all! And thanks to Technorati’s CEO David Sifry and his team for fixing a problem that had frozen the number of reported inbound sources.

Amnesty Refuses to Back Down after Bush Rebuke: After Bush accused Amnesty International of “hating America” for its “absurd” recent report listing the Bush regime well up in the global list of human rights abusers, Amnesty has clarified its rationale: detention at Guantanamo without due process, torture, ‘outsourcing’ of criminal abuse of suspects to the world’s worst human rights abusers, self-exemption from the Geneva Conventions etc. Most tellingly, they noted that the rhetoric of the Bushies, rather than addressing the substance of their report, was typical of governments caught on the defensive for human rights abuses and trying to divert attention through scurrilous attacks on the reputation of Amnesty.

Beverage Bioterror: Lawrence Wein at the NYT reported that there is an enormous risk that US beverage supplies could be easily contaminated with easy to obtain (the authors cited a recipe available online) botulism toxin, potentially killing hundreds of thousands and creating a crisis of confidence in the marketplace.

The End of Globalization: The husband of Canada’s Governor General, author John Ralston Saul, writes a long and damning assessment of globalization’s false promise and the resurgence, for good and bad, of nationalism, and then turns it into a book. Thanks to Jon Husband for the link.

Consumer Reports Goes Green: Consumer Reports magazine now has a free online site that reviews environmental attributes of products and services and provides additional information on what you can do to live greener.

IllumiNations: I’ll have more about my visit to Orlando in a few days, but definitely one of the highlights of the trip was the spectacular fireworks and laser light show at Epcot. The fact sheet shows the typical Disney attention to detail (and sometimes, to excess) that makes everything they do clearly different from any competitor. And the accompanying music by British film composer Gavin Greenaway, entitled Reflections of Earth, is stunning (available on the Buena Vista CD Illuminations). I’m becoming quite a fan of film soundtracks, and judging from the number of best-selling soundtrack CDs (many of them without any hits from big-name vocalists) I’m not alone. Although John Williams is the best-known, I also like Thomas Newman, John Barry, Jonathan Elias, Jerry Goldsmith, Ron Grainer, Johnny Mandel, Dave Grusin and a host of others. Hopelessly eclectic, or the ‘new classical’?

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3 Responses to Odds and Ends

  1. Tim Moore says:

    Hi Dave. To the extent that film scores keep the orchestral sound alive, yep, it’s the new classical. More dimension, more variety of expression, broader human feeling and more flexible rhythm than computer and rock scores. And anyone can go back to the classical sources: Prokofieff, Copland, Ravel, Debussy, Stravinsky, Rimky Korsakov, Berg, Bartok to hear the original inventors of modern impressionist and expressionist orchestral color. So film scores are a great window into the wider classical world. Add Mark Isham to your list of contemporary film greats! His score for “Crash” was incredibly moving and appropriate for the redemptive nature of that film. The late Jerry Goldsmith is a favorite of mine (his classic Chinatown score took him only ten days to write). And of the old school, Miklos Roscha, Bernard Herman, Alex North, Lionel Newman and Dimtri Tiomkin stand out. Hugo Freidhofer’s score for “The Best Years of Our Lives'” is also a classic! Enjoy your new love!

  2. Just to let you know, the link to Oddio Overplay is incorrect. It links to Professional-Lurker. I still love your site though ;)

  3. Dave Pollard says:

    Tim: Thanks. I’ve printed this out and will check out these composers. Nice to know another aficionado.Tyson: Thanks for the catch. Now corrected.

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