Archive for February, 2007

The Results Are In

Our team took 60th place at the KVSC trivia contest this past weekend. I totally did not anticipate helping out with over half of the 50 hours of questions. For those who don’t know, this is how it goes:

There’s 9 or 18 questions per hour. Questions vary in points and time allotted. Some questions are audio (song clips, people talking, movie clips), some questions are about completely random things (“Name the first 4 kiss songs to be instrumentalized into muzak?”), some are about very obscure people in St Cloud (“What was the first play ever performed at St Cloud Apollo High School?”), while others are more traditional trivia (“Name the brewer who in 1842 who invented pilsner.”).

I had so much fun. Everything was a challenge and it was rewarding more often than frustrating. We are already talking about next year. So, if you are interested in spending 50 hours (well, a couple shifts of 8 hours anyway) looking up strange things like the actual steps to setting up your Simple Set Pool one weekend in February, 2008 – let me know! There’s always lots of food, fun, and humor with the Shake a Hamster Band. Join us, wherever you are!

I’m Calling it Now

Next Wednesday, Valentine’s Day, Apple will announce that remastered versions of the entire Beatles UK catalog will be available on iTunes exclusively.

And as if that wasn’t a big enough announcement, all of the tracks will be DRM-free.

For my reasoning, add up here + here + here (scroll down to the it about EMI trying out EMI-free songs).

Update: More proof from EMI (who releases Apple records).

Update 2: Ok, I was wrong about the date apparently. But here’s some substantial news: Beatles albums are no longer available in Europe (possibly the world) to prepare for the remastered versions at the end of March. (Sources are two “reliable” record people in Europe, via the Yahoo Beatleg group.) I’m still calling no DRM.

Gooogle: The Musical

I finally made it to the new and vastly improved Guthrie Theater. What a fantastic building! It looks and feels so modern in every room. I like it much better than the Walker addition. The new Guthrie is a tourist attraction in a part of town often forgotten. I felt like I was in another city momentarily as we approached it from 2nd Street heading east. There is a whole other feeling surrounding this building. I hope other parts of the city being renovated (Franklin Ave, parts of South Mpls, Lake Street, Midway in St Paul, etc.) take note.

The view from the Endless Bridge is breathtaking (especially in below zero weather). There’s old industry everywhere around you: flour mills (and their early 20th century signage), the mighty Mississippi river, trains warning of their arrival…you can’t help but wonder what it was like 100 years ago. It’s a perfectly historical spot for what should be the Twin Cities greatest new treasure.

Oh yeah, and I saw a play while I was there. It was Gooogle: The Musical, originally staged at 2006′s local Fringe Festival. It was not nearly as funny as I hoped it would be. My idea of it was way better than the actual play. Plus it was really confusing. (SPOILER ALERT) So in the play, Google is a Carrie Bradshaw lookie likie. She’s sexy, she’s always wearing uncomfortable clothing, but she’s not nearly as goofy as Carrie. And she’s gay. Google keeps getting IMs (via her cutey Mac) from a woman, but we have no idea why. Although the source of these IMs are eventually revealed, they obviously really only exist to give the actors time to change or otherwise do what they need to do for the next scene.

Google’s got four hussies at her beckon call. These girls do a nice little bit inspired by Chicago’s “Cell Block Tango”, but that lasts about a minute. I thought the four girls would be either Yahoo, MSN, AOL and ask.com, or Google’s own Images, News, Froogle, and Video searches. But they were never identified. And I wasn’t the only one who didn’t get it.

I didn’t sleep well that night so I ended up thinking a lot about how I’d rewrite it. I’d like to make it a bit geekier. So if you’re reading, Drew Hammond, or whoever…let me know if you’re interested! I even have a writing degree!!