Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Tai Mingshen has relocated to

Please visit the new blog.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Justin King - Knock On Wood

I'm always fascinated by musicians with a unique musical style, and Justin King certainly comes into this category, although his playing is reminiscent of the late Michael Hedges. This track, Knock On Wood, is really cool.

Google Guide

Nancy Blanchman developed Google Guide because she wanted more information about Google's capabilties, features, and services than she found on Google's website. And she made a very good job of it! The website provides an interactive tutorial and comprehensive downloadable reference guides and quick reference cards in PDF and HTML formats.

FilesFly also has a very nice cheat sheet for all things Google.


My latest logo was created using Warholizer, a tribute to Andy Warhol's famous paintings of Marilyn Monroe. Upload or link to your own photo and the tool instantly creates your own image.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Free language courses is a website hosting language courses developed by the United States government's Foreign Service Institute. The website itself is not affiliated in any way with the government; it is an independent effort to foster the learning of worldwide languages.

Arabic, Cambodian, Cantonese, Chinese (Standard), Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Korean, Portuguese, Spanish, Swedish, Turkish and Vietnamese are currently available.

These courses are freely available in an electronic format, and are in the public domain. They are made available through the private efforts of individuals who are donating their time and resources to help others.

Pierre Thomson provides an excellent email course for learning Norwegian, called NorWord. The NorWord learning program was written by Nancy Aarsvold and Louis Janus at the University of Minnesota. The lessons arrive daily, in all 160 lessons in about 6 months, after which you should be able to hold simple conversations in Norwegian. The Norskklassen list is an informal online class for people learning Norwegian. You'll find information on how to join the list and lots of resources for learning Norwegian on the Norskklassen website. All for free.

Here's a listing of some free Dutch language courses which I'm currently studying:, Taalthuis online Dutch and NT2

Are you wondering how to pronounce a word? provides free online pronunciation guides to 9 varieties of the English language and 9 other languages: French, French Canadian, German, Swiss German, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Indonesian, Japanese, Mandarin, Thai. The site also provides links to several other resources for learning languages.

PBS Nova - The Elegant Universe

"Eleven dimensions, parallel universes and a world made out of strings. It's not science fiction, it's string theory." PBS have many of their excellent educational television programmes available for online viewing. The Elegant Universe is a three hour series with supporting articles and interviews, providing a good introduction to the controversial string theory - an attempt at providing a theory of everything.

Monday, December 04, 2006

LibriVox - public domain audio books

LibriVox volunteers record chapters of books in the public domain and release the audio files on their website. Their goal is to make all public domain books available as free audio books and their catalogue includes complete books, short works, collections and poetry. The completed works are available for download in mp3 and Ogg Vorbis formats.

You may, of course, prefer to read your books. Project Gutenberg has about 20,000 free ebooks available in the public domain and, thankfully, a searchable database.

Musopen - an online classical music repository

Here's a site that focuses on the baroque, classical, romantic and 20th century periods of classical music. Musopen takes music that is in the public domain, has it recorded by individuals and college/community orchestras throughout the United States, then allows it to be accessed for free. Musopen provides search, random play, streaming radio, mp3 downloads and browsing by performer, composer, instrument, form or period of its musical archives. There's even short introductions to music history, composers and their featured pieces of work. Musopen's lawyers assure that everything on the site is legal for download.

Sunday, December 03, 2006


I've just watched a video preview of Scrybe, a new Ajax-based online calendar/organiser application that is currently undergoing limited beta-testing.

This looks very promising! I've signed myself up for an account...

Using Google Docs as a blog posting tool

I've just found out that I can use Google Docs to make drafts of documents before publishing directly to my blog.

Of course, the Blogger posting tool also allows saving of drafts, but Google Docs is a convenient online clipboard and a tool that I'll be using more of in the future. Unfortunately, the title and label I entered for this test posting didn't get transferred from the Google Doc, so the integration isn't yet as complete as it could be.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006


Yet another site providing streamed music based on your personal preferences. Musicovery has an excellent interactive interface that let's you select the musical genre, mood and timeline that you want to hear.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Jay Wasco

Jay Wasco has, is his own words, "the strange ability to play the bass guitar and keyboards at the same time." Not only that, he invents and plays some very strange instruments, such as the Egotar and Swiss Army Bass.

Since his homepage is, again in his own words, "Not so slick ........or eazy to navigate", here's a link to some videos of this remarkable musician.