Archive for January 20th, 2011

January 20, 2011

McIntosh Laboratory

mcintosh

McClock

McIntosh Laboratory is a manufacturer of high-end audio equipment based in Binghamton, New York. Founded in 1949 by Frank McIntosh, the company is noted for its extremely high build quality and excellent technical specifications. The ‘classic’ vacuum tube components of the 1960s include the MC275 power amplifier, the C22 preamplifier, and the MR67 tuner. Later McIntosh solid state power amps are known for their distinctive blue colored meters. In 1946, McIntosh, a design consultant for broadcast and TV stations, hired Gordon Gow to help him design a high power, low distortion amplifier needed for his clients. This amplifier would become the 50W-1. It included McIntosh’s first patented circuit, the Unity Coupled Circuit, still used by current products.

McIntosh amplifiers were used at the Woodstock Music Festival in 1969, and the Grateful Dead’s ‘Wall of Sound’ reputedly utilized forty-eight 300-watt per channel McIntosh model MC 2300 solid state amplifiers for a total of 28,800 watts of continuous power. The company was purchased by Japanese car audio maker Clarion in 1990. In a speech shortly after the purchase, Clarion president Yutaka Oyamada told McIntosh employees, ‘…we like McIntosh as it is, and we have no intention of changing what has made it so successful.’ In 2003, McIntosh was sold by Clarion to D&M Holdings, also of Japan.

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January 20, 2011

French Paradox

Mireille Guiliano

The French Paradox is the observation that French people suffer a relatively low incidence of coronary heart disease, despite having a diet relatively rich in saturated fats. The term French Paradox was coined by Dr. Serge Renaud, a scientist from Bordeaux University in France. It has been suggested that France’s high red wine consumption is a primary factor in the trend.

This hypothesis was expounded in a 60 Minutes broadcast in 1991. It is believed that one of the components of red wine potentially related to this effect is resveratrol. Statistics collected by the WHO from 1990–2000 show that the incidence of heart disease in France may have been underestimated, and may in fact be similar to that of neighboring countries.

January 20, 2011

Resveratrol

resveratrol

Resveratrol is a chemical produced naturally by several plants when under attack by pathogens such as bacteria or fungi. It is found in the skin of red grapes and is a constituent of red wine, but apparently not in sufficient amounts to explain the French Paradox. Resveratrol is currently a topic of numerous animal and human studies into its effects.

January 20, 2011

Japanese Whisky

yamazaki

Whisky production in Japan began around 1870, but the first commercial production was in 1924 upon the opening of the country’s first distillery, Yamazaki. Broadly speaking the style of Japanese whisky is more similar to that of Scotch whisky than Irish whiskey, and thus the spelling typically follows the Scottish convention (omitting the letter ‘e’).

There are several companies producing whisky in Japan. Perhaps the two most well known are Suntory and Nikka. Both produce blended as well as single malt whiskies.

January 20, 2011

Cthulhu

Cthulhu

Cthulhu [kuh-thool-hoo] is a fictional cosmic entity created by horror author H. P. Lovecraft in 1926. Cthulhu is the high priest to the Great Old Ones and one of the central figures of the Lovecraft Mythos. It is often cited for the extreme descriptions given of its hideous appearance, its gargantuan size, and the abject terror that it evokes. Cthulhu is depicted as having a worldwide doomsday cult centered in Arabia, with followers in regions as far-flung as Greenland and Louisiana.

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January 20, 2011

Mowgli Syndrome

Mowgli

Mowgli syndrome is a term used by Wendy Doniger O’Flaherty in her 1995 book ‘Other Peoples’ Myths: The Cave of Echoes’ to describe mythological figures who succeed in bridging the animal and human worlds to become one with nature, a human animal, only to become trapped between the two worlds, not completely animal yet not entirely human.

It is also a rarely-used descriptive term for so-called feral children. The term originates from the character Mowgli, a fictional feral child from Rudyard Kipling’s ‘The Jungle Book.’

January 20, 2011

High Five

high five

The high five is a celebratory hand gesture that occurs when two people simultaneously raise one hand, about head high, and push, slide or slap the flat of their palm and hand against the palm and flat hand of their partner. The gesture is often preceded verbally by the phrase ‘Give me five’ or ‘High five.’  The origins of the term are said to belong to U.S. basketball, and the use of the phrase as a noun has been part of the Oxford English Dictionary since 1980 and as a verb since 1981.

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January 20, 2011

K Foundation Burn a Million Quid

pyramid blaster

K Foundation Burn a Million Quid was a performance art/ political exercise that took place in 1994, in which the K Foundation (an art duo consisting of Bill Drummond and Jimmy Cauty) burned cash in the amount of one million pounds sterling on the Scottish island of Jura. A single house brick that was manufactured from the fire’s ashes. This money represented the bulk of the K Foundation’s funds, earned by Drummond and Cauty as The KLF, one of the United Kingdom’s most successful pop groups of the early 1990s.

The incineration was recorded on a Hi-8 video camera by K Foundation collaborator Gimpo. In 1995, the film was toured around the UK, with Drummond and Cauty engaging each audience in debate about the burning and its meaning. Later that year, the duo pledged to dissolve the K Foundation and to refrain from public discussion of the burning for a period of 23 years. Despite this Drummond has spoken about the burning in 2000 and 2004. At first he was unrepentant but in 2004, he admitted to the BBC that he regretted burning the money.

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January 20, 2011

Mashup

snooperfly

united state of pop

A mashup is a song or composition created by blending two or more pre-recorded songs, usually by overlaying the vocal track of one song seamlessly over the instrumental track of another. To the extent that such works are ‘transformative’ of original content, they may find protection from copyright claims under the ‘fair use’ doctrine. Though the term ‘bastard pop’ first became popular in 2001, the practice of assembling new songs from purloined elements of other tracks stretches back to the beginnings of recorded music.

If one extends the definition beyond the realm of pop, precursors can be found in Musique concrète, as well as the classical practice of (re-)arranging traditional folk material and the jazz tradition of reinterpreting standards. In addition, many elements of bastard pop culture have antecedents in hip hop and the DIY ethic of punk.

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January 20, 2011

Archie Meets the Punisher

Archie Meets the Punisher or The Punisher Meets Archie was a one-shot comic book intercompany crossover published under two separate covers by Marvel Comics and Archie Comics in 1994. It featured the unlikely meeting of Marvel’s murderous vigilante, the Punisher, and Archie Comics’ all-American teenager, Archie Andrews. The book was written by Batton Lash, with artwork by John Buscema (drawing the Punisher characters) and Stan Goldberg (drawing the Archie characters).

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