tag:werner.ly,2013:/posts WERNER.LY 2017-02-27T00:14:19Z tag:werner.ly,2013:Post/591847 2013-08-01T21:25:43Z 2017-01-16T04:38:34Z This one certainly qualifies for the Best Animated Gif Ever.

tag:werner.ly,2013:Post/589945 2013-07-21T15:15:22Z 2016-11-17T22:32:34Z A Spectacular View of Taipei

From the roof of the Shangri-la Far East Plaza Hotel.

tag:werner.ly,2013:Post/589891 2013-07-21T09:50:30Z 2016-11-17T22:32:37Z Here be Dragons

The Lungshan Temple in Taipei

tag:werner.ly,2013:Post/588980 2013-07-15T15:24:03Z 2015-03-18T09:55:51Z Supertree Grove

The supertrees in the Supertree Grove of the Garden at the Bay in Singapore. 

tag:werner.ly,2013:Post/588661 2013-07-14T04:10:23Z 2016-11-17T22:32:24Z A Pool in the Sky of Singapore

The Marina Bay Sands Hotel in Singapore

The photo was taken with a Sony RX1, a 35mm prime lens camera that continues to impress me. The full resolution of the image can be found here.

tag:werner.ly,2013:Post/588328 2013-07-12T12:36:43Z 2017-02-27T00:12:57Z Coloring the Roads of India

tag:werner.ly,2013:Post/588007 2013-07-10T05:54:35Z 2016-10-12T07:31:33Z The Chinese Fishing Nets at Vypin

tag:werner.ly,2013:Post/587882 2013-07-09T14:23:07Z 2017-02-27T00:13:13Z Fishing is Hard Work

tag:werner.ly,2013:Post/587834 2013-07-09T04:21:01Z 2017-02-27T00:13:17Z Monsoon Morning

tag:werner.ly,2013:Post/587719 2013-07-08T15:04:00Z 2017-02-27T00:13:25Z Infinity into the Kerala backwaters

tag:werner.ly,2013:Post/587720 2013-07-08T15:02:00Z 2013-10-08T17:27:07Z Praying for Fish in Kerala

tag:werner.ly,2013:Post/586593 2013-07-01T13:49:07Z 2017-02-27T00:13:59Z ITC Grand Chola

Calling it a hotel  would be an insult, it is a palace from the era of the great Chola rulers

tag:werner.ly,2013:Post/586483 2013-06-30T15:36:31Z 2017-02-27T00:14:19Z Vidhana Soudha

tag:werner.ly,2013:Post/184553 2013-03-19T04:37:02Z 2013-10-08T16:00:29Z My Top New Music Picks from SXSW 13

Ever year at SXSW I manage to find one or two bands that I really like. One year that was Street Sweeper Social Club, another year Asteroid Galaxy Tour. This year I was fortunate as well to run into at least two bands that I really liked: Monophonics from San Francisco and Ain't no Love from Montreal.

Ain't No Love (@thisaintnolove) plays electro hip hop that very infectiously danceable. Two rappers and a smooth vocalist back by heavy electro beats. A potent combination:

Monophonics (@monotonicsfunk) plays high energy big band psychedelic soul and hard funk, in the tradition of Sly Stone and George Clinton. Lots of copper, harmonies and swing. Here is a live clip of them:

tag:werner.ly,2013:Post/67796 2011-10-02T20:27:00Z 2013-10-08T15:35:59Z Lismore Castle in HDR

I had the fortune to visit Lismore Castle in Ireland as part of the Funconf conference. The fall weather in Ireland created bright highlights and dark shadows and as such was ideal for some HDR experiments. Each of these images is created out of 5 bracketed images each half a stop apart. I shot it by hand which makes the overlaying far from perfect of course, but the M9 is relatively light. Postprocessing using Lightroom and Photomatix Pro.

tag:werner.ly,2013:Post/67805 2011-04-20T04:10:43Z 2013-10-08T15:36:00Z Loud Pipes ]]> tag:werner.ly,2013:Post/67808 2010-10-21T20:10:00Z 2013-10-08T15:36:00Z This is The Real Thing, there is no substitute...

Spotted outside the Leela Kempinski Hotel in Mumbai.

tag:werner.ly,2013:Post/67812 2010-08-22T18:47:00Z 2013-10-08T15:36:00Z NME's 50 best new bands of 2010

New Musical Express released their preliminary list of 50 best new bands of 2010. Tim Chester uploaded their tracks to Soundcloud and you can listen to them through the embedded player below.

(apparently the player doesn't load on posterous when viewed with IE. Sorry about that, you'll have to listen to it at Soundcloud).

50 Best New Bands Of 2010 by Tim Chester NME

tag:werner.ly,2013:Post/67814 2010-08-20T15:02:00Z 2013-10-08T15:36:00Z Rough Guide to @werner

I can't believe you listen to this shit ....

When Nalden asked me to put together a top ten of my favorite music I must have looked rather shocked. How can I ever pick ten favorites; there is so much great music out there that picking only ten would be an insult. But as Nalden kept hounding me,  I decided to do a different kind of top ten. Given that I am a real omnivore when it comes to music; there is quite a bit extreme material in my collection. This top ten is made out of material where someone at one time has said to me “I can’t believe you listen to this shit”. That still left me with quite a bit material so I added the filter that I must have seen the artist, and they had to have been impressive in live concert. Here is the resulting playlist on Nalden's wonderful site (and the equivalent on Playlistify, Spotify and Grooveshark)

Welcome to the “Rough Guide to @werner”. I’ll ease into this absurd world by starting with Alabama 3, the group that pioneered the Acid Country genre.  Many of their songs are in my bag of favorites; Mansion on the Hill and Too Sick to Pray are some of the best of their early work. To get a good sense of their riveting live performances watch Woke up This Morning from the Live at the Astoria DVD.

Next up is Apocalyptica the cello-only group of crazy Fin’s. They made their name with covering Metallica songs on cello, but my pick is Path which is their own work. Their live performances are an amazing show, see for example One and Hall of the Mountain King.

Third and fourth on the list are two European electronica duo’s. Chase and Status have their roots in the Drum & Bass world but have transformed into an intense trance dance performance. This live performance of Eastern Jam is a good example. They are also known for their remixes; here is a live excerpt from their remix of Nneka’s Heartbeart.

The French mega duo Justice shows what is great about the Euro electronica scene. When I was at SXSW earlier this year people there where really enthusiastic about some of the LA electronica bands, but they are dwarfed by the European bands. You can find many live recordings of Justice and they all demonstrate how they can even get the biggest hall going. I picked this performance of Genesis in San Francisco.

No Rough Guide is complete without some hard-core rap and hiphop. These two songs are without videos. For me DMX is the pinnacle of the aggressive rap battles and there is no better putdown song that Bring Your Whole Crew. From the old skool hard core hiphop nothing beats the Wu Tang Clan. There is too much to choose from but for me Severe Punishment has the driving rhythm that was at the origin of the hip hop genre. 

I added two mash-up’s to the list. The first is NasHip Hop is Dead, which is sampled over the 60’s song In-a-gadda-davida from Iron Butterfly. It is a remarkably creative approach given the message he wanted to send: “Everybody sounds the same, commercialize the game / Reminiscin' when it wasn't all business / It forgot where it started / So we all gather here for the dearly departed. Also see his live performance in the AOL studio and on stage in NYC.

No “I can’t believe you listen to this shit” list is complete without Marilyn Manson. Many do not seem to be able to look past his appearance to see an excellent innovating artist. Not that I am really a big fan of his work, but he has some excellent song in his repertoire. This is the New Shit is typical for his critical view on his own work

Just to annoy Nalden I added some hard core white boy country hip hop and rock to the mix. Nobody does that better than Kid Rock. There are many anthems to pick from, but I think American Bad Ass will do just fine :-). Regardless of whether you’re a fan of Kid or not, if he comes to your town with a live show, you have to go see him. There is nothing like it.

The second of the mashup’s and the last song on the list is the collaboration between Linkin Park and Jay-Z. Collision Course is one of the better collaborative mashup’s out there and the combination between LP’s Nu Metal and Jay’z Rhyming is great fun. I put the live version of Points Of Authority/99 Problems/One Step Closer in this list because I consider Linkin Park to be one of the absolute best live bands touring the world at the moment. Jay-Z looks a bit out of place in the high-intensity performance, but it is a classic…

Here is the full top ten playlist from GrooveShark

tag:werner.ly,2013:Post/67815 2010-08-20T04:17:00Z 2013-10-08T15:36:00Z Rock the Bells Featuring Street Sweeper Social Club

Street Sweeper Social Club remains my favorite new band of 2010 after I saw them perform a number of times at SXSW. If you have a change to attend the Mega “Rock The Bells” festival, don’t skip it and go see SSSC with Tom Morello and Boots Riley.

This is “Nobody Moves this we Say Go“, the song that ends each Street Sweeper Social CLub performance on a much higher energy than that it started...

There are four festival performances: LA (8/21), San Francisco (8/22), New York (8/28), DC (8/29)

tag:werner.ly,2013:Post/67818 2010-08-09T01:06:00Z 2014-09-13T08:05:17Z My video shots of the Blue Angels at Seafair 2010

My collection of video shots of the Blue Angels team at Seafair 2010 in Seattle

tag:werner.ly,2013:Post/67821 2010-07-07T03:59:00Z 2013-10-08T15:36:00Z Luther's Playlist

The dark psychological BBC drama series Luther  feautured some excellent songs as intro and exit music. These are those songs as a Grooveshark playlist. You can also download the playlist for Spotify and other source at playlistify. Also to be found at  my Spotify profile.

You can play them here from this Grooveshark widget

tag:werner.ly,2013:Post/67824 2010-04-06T05:32:00Z 2013-10-08T15:36:00Z I see Dead Trees - Images from Rattlesnake Lake

This is a selection from a photoset at smumug, visit that for all images and in a higher resolution.

Rattlesnake lake came into existence about around 1900 when a dam was created in the Cedar river higher up in the Cascade Mountains. Water seeped from Chester Morse lake into the lower valley and flooded the town of Moncton. Many dead trunks of the trees from those days are still around, giving the lake a eerily atmosphere

tag:werner.ly,2013:Post/67827 2010-03-23T05:25:00Z 2013-10-08T15:36:00Z My top SXSW Music pick: Street Sweeper Social Club (SSSC)

Just like last year I felt that SXSW Music had a clear “winner” for me. Street Sweeper Social Club surprised me with high energy Rap Rock music of exactly the kind that I like. Core to SSSC are Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine and Boots Riley of The Coup. They played a total of six gigs at SXSW, all extreme high energy events.

They had already released an album last year: cd / vinyl / mp3 More streaming music on the SSSC myspace page.

Here are some video shots from SSSC, not all perfect in sound or vision, but they give a good impression of the band’s energy and audience reaction to it.

There are many more live performance videos of Street Sweeper Social Club on Youtube and others.

Here are the regular music videos of their singles “100 little curses” and “promenade”.

tag:werner.ly,2013:Post/67830 2010-03-12T06:56:00Z 2013-10-08T15:36:00Z Feynman on the The Value of Science

After having actively contributed to the Manhattan project Richard Feyman became concerned with the role of science in society and the question of "Is there evil in science". He tried to answer that question in his 1955 lecture to the National Academy of Sciences. I reprint it here as it is still very relevant today.

The Value Of Science

 By Richard P. Feynman

FROM time to time people suggest to me that scientists ought to give more consideration to social problems -- especially that they should be more responsible in considering the impact of science on society. It seems to be generally believed that if the scientists would only look at these very difficult social problems and not spend so much time fooling with less vital scientific ones, great success would come of it.

 It seems to me that wedothink about these problems from time to time, but we don't put a full-time effort into them -- the reasons being that we know we don't have any magic formula for solving social problems, that social problems are very much harder than scientific ones, and that we usually don't get anywhere when we do think about them.

 I believe that a scientist looking at nonscientific problems is just as dumb as the next guy -- and when he talks about a nonscientific matter, he sounds as naive as anyone untrained in the matter. Since the question of the value of science isnota scientific subject, this talk is dedicated to proving my point -- by example.

 The first way in which science is of value is familiar to everyone. It is that scientific knowledge enables us to do all kinds of things and to make all kinds of things. Of course if we makegoodthings, it is not only to the credit of science; it is also to the credit of the moral choice which led us to good work. Scientific knowledge is an enabling power to do either good or bad -- but it does not carry instructions on how to use it. Such power has evident value -- even though the power may be negated by what one does with it.

 I learned a way of expressing this common human problem on a trip to Honolulu. In a Buddhist temple there, the man in charge explained a little bit about the Buddhist religion for tourists, and then ended his talk by telling them he had something to say to them that they wouldneverforget -- and I have never forgotten it. It was a proverb of the Buddhist religion:

 To every man is given the key to the gates of heaven; the same key opens the gates of hell.

 What then, is the value of the key to heaven? It is true that if we lack clear instructions that enable us to determine which is the gate to heaven and which the gate to hell, the key may be a dangerous object to use.

 But the key obviously has value: how can we enter heaven without it?

 Instructions would be of no value without the key. So it is evident that, in spite of the fact that it could produce enormous horror in the world, science is of value because itcanproducesomething.

 Another value of science is the fun called intellectual enjoyment which some people get from reading and learning and thinking about it, and which others get from working in it. This is an important point, one which is not considered enough by those who tell us it is our social responsibility to reflect on the impact of science on society

 Is this mere personal enjoyment of value to society as a whole? No! But it is also a responsibility to consider the aim of society itself. Is it to arrange matters so that people can enjoy things? If so, then the enjoyment of science is as important as anything else.

 But I would likenotto underestimate the value of the world view which is the result of scientific effort. We have been led to imagine all sorts of things infinitely more marvelous than the imaginings of poets and dreamers of the past. It shows that the imagination of nature is far, far greater than the imagination of man. For instance, how much more remarkable it is for us all to be stuck -- half of us upside down -- by a mysterious attraction to a spinning ball that has been swinging in space for billions of years than to be carried on the back of an elephant supported on a tortoise swimming in a bottomless sea.

 I have thought about these things so many times alone that I hope you will excuse me if I remind you of this type of thought that I am sure many of you have had, which no one could ever have had in the past because people then didn't have the information we have about the world today.

 For instance, I stand at the seashore, alone, and start to think.

 There are the rushing waves
mountains of molecules
each stupidly minding its own business
trillions apart
yet forming white surf in unison.

Ages on ages before any eyes could see
year after year
thunderously pounding the shore as now.
For whom, for what?
On a dead planet
with no life to entertain.

Never at rest
tortured by energy
wasted prodigiously by the sun
poured into space.
A mite makes the sea roar.

Deep in the sea
all molecules repeat
the patterns of one another
till complex new ones are formed.
They make others like themselves
and a new dance starts.

Growing in size and complexity
living things
masses of atoms
DNA, protein
dancing a pattern ever more intricate.

Out of the cradle
onto dry land
here it is
atoms with consciousness;
matter with curiosity.

Stands at the sea,
wonders at wondering: I
a universe of atoms
an atom in the universe.

The same thrill, the same awe and mystery, comes again and again when we look at any question deeply enough. With more knowledge comes a deeper, more wonderful mystery, luring one on to penetrate deeper still. Never concerned that the answer may prove disappointing, with pleasure and confidence we turn over each new stone to find unimagined strangeness leading on to more wonderful questions and mysteries -- certainly a grand adventure!

 It is true that few unscientific people have this particular type of religious experience. Our poets do not write about it; our artists do not try to portray this remarkable thing. I don't know why. Is no one inspired by our present picture of the universe? This value of science remains unsung by singers: you are reduced to hearing not a song or poem, but an evening lecture about it. This is not yet a scientific age.

 Perhaps one of the reasons for this silence is that you have to know how to read the music. For instance, the scientific article may say, "The radioactive phosphorus content of the cerebrum of the rat decreases to one-half in a period of two weeks." Now what does that mean?

 It means that phosphorus that is in the brain of a rat -- and also in mine, and yours -- is not the same phosphorus as it was two weeks ago. It means the atoms that are in the brain are being replaced: the ones that were there before have gone away.

 So what is this mind of ours: what are these atoms with consciousness? Last week's potatoes! They now canrememberwhat was going on in my mind a year ago -- a mind which has long ago been replaced.

 To note that the thing I call my individuality is only a pattern or dance,that iswhat it means when one discovers how long it takes for the atoms of the brain to be replaced by other atoms. The atoms come into my brain, dance a dance, and then go out -- there are always new atoms, but always doing the same dance, remembering what the dance was yesterday.

 When we read about this in the newspaper, it says "Scientists say this discovery may have importance in the search for a cure for cancer." The paper is only interested in the use of the idea, not the idea itself. Hardly anyone can understand the importance of an idea, it is so remarkable. Except that, possibly, some children catch on. And when a child catches on to an idea like that, we have a scientist. It is too late2for them to get the spirit when they are in our universities, so we must attempt to explain these ideas to children.

 I would now like to turn to a third value that science has. It is a little less direct, but not much. The scientist has a lot of experience with ignorance and doubt and uncertainty, and this experience is of very great importance, I think. When a scientist doesn't know the answer to a problem, he is ignorant. When he has a hunch as to what the result is, he is uncertain. And when he is pretty darn sure of what the result is going to be, he is still in some doubt. We have found it of paramount importance that in order to progress we must recognize our ignorance and leave room for doubt. Scientific knowledge is a body of statements of varying degrees of certainty -- some most unsure, some nearly sure, but noneabsolutelycertain.

 Now, we scientists are used to this, and we take it for granted that it is perfectly consistent to be unsure, that it is possible to live andnotknow. But I don't know whether everyone realizes this is true. Our freedom to doubt was born out of a struggle against authority in the early days of science. It was a very deep and strong struggle: permit us to question -- to doubt -- to not be sure. I think that it is important that we do not forget this struggle and thus perhaps lose what we have gained. Herein lies a responsibility to society.

 We are all sad when we think of the wondrous potentialities human beings seem to have, as contrasted with their small accomplishments. Again and again people have thought that we could do much better. Those of the past saw in the nightmare of their times a dream for the future. We, oftheirfuture, see that their dreams, in certain ways surpassed, have in many ways remained dreams. The hopes for the future today are, in good share, those of yesterday.

 It was once thought that the possibilities people had were not developed because most of the people were ignorant. With universal education, could all men be Voltaires? Bad can be taught at least as efficiently as good. Education is a strong force, but for either good or evil.

 Communications between nations must promote understanding -- so went another dream. But the machines of communication can be manipulated. What is communicated can be truth or lie. Communication is a strong force, but also for either good or evil.

 The applied sciences should free men of material problems at least. Medicine controls diseases. And the record here seems all to the good. Yet there are some patiently working today to create great plagues and poisons for use in warfare tomorrow.

Nearly everyone dislikes war. Our dream today is peace. In peace, man can develop best the enormous possibilities he seems to have. But maybe future men will find that peace, too, can be good and bad. Perhaps peaceful men will drink out of boredom. Then perhaps drink will become the great problem whifh seems to keep man from getting all he thinks he should out of his abilities.

 Clearly, peace is a great force -- as are sobriety, material power, communication, education, honesty, and the ideals of many dreamers. We have more of these forces to control than did the ancients. And maybe we are doing a little better than most of them could do. But what we ought to be able to do seems gigantic compared with our confused accomplishments.

 Why is this? Why can't we conquer ourselves?

 Because we find that even great forces and abilities do not seem to carry with them clear instructions on how to use them. As an example, the great accumulation of understanding as to how the physical world behaves only convinces one that this behavior seems to have a kind of meaninglessness. The sciences do not directly teach good and bad.

 Through all ages of our past, people have tried to fathom the meaning of life. They have realized that if some direction or meaning could be given to our actions, great human forces would be unleashed. So, very many answers have been given to the question of the meaning of it all. But the answers have been of all different sorts, and the proponents of one answer have looked with horror at the actions of the believers in another -- horror, because from a disagreeing point of view all the great potentialities of the race are channeled into a false and confining blind alley. In fact, it is from the history of the enormous monstrosities created by false belief that philosophers have realized the apparently infinite and wondrous capacities of human beings. The dream is to find the open channel.

 What, then, is the meaning of it all? What can we say to dispel the mystery of existence?

 If we take everything into account -- not only what the ancients knew, but all of what we know today that they didn't know -- then I think we must frankly admit thatwe do not know.

 But, in admitting this, we have probably found the open channel.

 This is not a new idea; this is the idea of the age of reason. This is the philosophy that guided the men who made the democracy that we live under. The idea that no one really knew how to run a government led to the idea that we should arrange a system by which new ideas could be developed, tried out, and tossed out if necessary, with more new ideas brought in -- a trial-and-error system. This method was a result of the fact that science was already showing itself to be a successful venture at the end of the eighteenth century. Even then it was clear to socially minded people that the openness of possibilities was an opportunity, and that doubt and discussion were essential to progress into the unknown. If we want to solve a problem that we have never solved before, we must leave the door to the unknown ajar.

 We are at the very beginning of time for the human race. It is not unreasonable that we grapple with problems. But there are tens of thousands of years in the future. Our responsibility is to do what we can, learn what we can, improve the solutions, and pass them on. It is our responsibility to leave the people of the future a free hand. In the impetuous youth of humanity, we can make grave errors that can stunt our growth for a long time. This we will do if we say we have the answers now, so young and ignorant as we are. If we suppress all discussion, all criticism, proclaiming "This is the answer, my friends; man is saved!" we will doom humanity for a long time to the chains of authority, confined to the limits of our present imagination. It has been done so many times before.

 It is our responsibility as scientists, knowing the great progress which comes from a satisfactory philosophy of ignorance, the great progress which is the fruit of freedom of thought, to proclaim the value of this freedom; to teach how doubt is not to be feared but welcomed and discussed; and to demand this freedom as our duty to all coming generations.

tag:werner.ly,2013:Post/67832 2009-11-29T23:45:32Z 2013-10-08T15:36:00Z The Inanimate Faces of Camden Town

tag:werner.ly,2013:Post/67836 2009-11-11T14:51:00Z 2013-10-08T15:36:00Z I was waiting for my rescue party to arrive #sime

photo courtesy of @mathys

tag:werner.ly,2013:Post/67837 2009-10-10T18:59:00Z 2013-10-08T15:36:00Z Solar Farm Panorama

On the road trip last week I surprisingly encountered a massive solar panel array just outside of Mosca, CO. I quickly took some pictures and shot some cell phone video. In hindsight neither of their portraits the massive scope of the farm very well, so I used the Image Composite Editor from Microsoft Research to see if it could stitch the photos together. The originals were not a panorama at all but ICE did a great job in combining them. It is worth while looking at full size.

tag:werner.ly,2013:Post/67838 2009-09-21T06:36:00Z 2013-10-08T15:36:00Z Possible album of the year: @rodgab - 11:11
Tomorrow night Rodrigo y Gabriela will be playing at the Moore Theatre in Seattle. This is most likely to be the highlight of the 2009 music season. It has been sold out for weeks. And yes, I have tickets.

They released their new album 11:11 (amazon mp3) last week and for me it is definitely in the running for best album of 2009. This album has all original songs and no more covers. The song Buster Voodoo is the second song on the album and inspired by Jimi Hendrix.

mp3 is downloaded from plug in music, photograph is by volume12
tag:werner.ly,2013:Post/67839 2009-09-18T01:44:00Z 2013-10-08T15:36:00Z Rocket Engine Power

On Sept. 10, 2009, Nasa performed the initial full scale, full-duration test firing of the first motor for the Ares I rocket. ATK Space Systems conducted the successful stationary firing of the five-segment solid development motor 1, or DM-1. The Ares I is a crew launch vehicle in development for NASA's Constellation Program.

Make sure to hit that HQ button to watch a 22 Million Horse Power engine being test fired! If you want to fast-forward, T-10 is at 1:40.