The Roaring Lions EP

A little over a year ago, my friend Henry and I were invited by Je Widenhouse to sit in on his weekly gig at 5 Walnut Wine Bar here in downtown Asheville. Je and Henry are current members of the Squirrel Nut Zippers and Je and I are current members of Firecracker Jazz Band and Henry is the former tuba player, so we had a large songbook in common. We had a lot of fun that night, made some good music and got a great response. So we slapped a name on our trio, started up a Facebook account, printed up some business cards and called it a band. As far as I can tell from my research, we are the world’s first and only tuba-trumpet-piano trio in existence. If you know of another, tell me.

We are The Roaring Lions.

We have just released our first recordings.

You can buy our record on Bandcamp, or from us in person when you see us perform for $5. Also, you can Bookface love us. Our CD release will take place this Sunday October 14, at 5 Walnut Wine Bar at 7pm.

From my Files: Eight Articles

I was going through my Downloads folder the other day and doing some sorting and throwing out of old torrents and what not, and noticed a several articles that I had read in the past year. Just PDFs that I had downloaded and read. Some of them were sources I used for classes at UNCA, some were just points along my personal learning journey. I think they were pretty interesting and eclectic, and had good memories of reading them. So I’m sharing them, with a brief description. I’ve put them in alphabetical order. PDFs will open in a new window.

  • Ambient Temperature and Violent Crime: Tests of the Linear and Curvilinear Hypotheses
    • Do changes in temperature correlate to crime rates? If so, what is that relationship? Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. Published 1984, Vol. 46, No. 1, 91-97. 6 pages. 775 kb.
  • Apollo 11 Technical Crew Debriefing
    • Aldrin, Collins and Armstrong discuss the entire Apollo 11 mission, from suiting up to moon landing, returning to Earth and comments on the nuts and bolts of how everything worked from the viewpoint of the men who had to make it work. National Aeronautics and Space Agency, July 31st 1969. 156 pages. 1.2 mb.
  • Handgun Wounding and Effectiveness
    • There is a lot of misinformation about what makes a gun deadly, and what exactly the effects of a bulletin on the human body are. Here is a frighteningly well-researched study by the FBI on just that. Bonus: “FOR LAW ENFORCEMENT DISSEMINATION ONLY.” US Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation. Published July 14, 1989. 16 pages. 203 kb.
  • Hydrofracking: The Need for Responsible Gas Drilling Regulation and the Role of Natural Gas
    • Looks at the problems of hydrofracking, and assesses what could be done to make it safe way to access energy. More articles from the publisher, an independent energy thinktank, are available here. I don’t smell petro-dollars here, but as always, reader discretion is advised. Energy Vision. 2011. 14 pages. 720 kb.
  •  McMahon-Hussein Correspondence: Comments and a Reply
    • Why does the state of Israel exist? What established the borders? Who was involved in those decisions and how did that make them? McMahon-Hussein is a big piece of that story. Arnold Toynbee addresses these questions from an academic, not a political viewpoint.  Journal of Contemporary History, Vol. 5, No. 4 (1970), pp. 185-201. 18 pages. 518 kb.
  • Road to Riches
    • Where does wealth come from? Over thousands of years, the standard of living of humans has crawled slowly forward, until about 250 years ago in Western Europe. Why? Given Mitt Romney’s recent comments about the economic advantages of Israeli culture. The Economist, Dec 23rd 1999. 8 pages. 228 kb.
  • Power Notes: Slide Presentations Reconsidered
    • Most PowerPoint presentation are awful. But it can be used with purpose and serve to enlighten rather than bore and distract your audience. IIID International Institute for Information Design Swinburne University of Technology. 2011. 67 pages. 7.2 mb.
  • A Steampunk’s Guide to the Apocalypse
    • A fun and stylish look at how the technology of the past could help you survive the disaster of the future. Steampunk Magazine. October 2007. 31 pages. 7.9 mb.

Do banks lose more money to robbery or to stolen pens?

100 Dollar Bill with Pen

100 Dollar Bill with Pen

While making a deposit at the bank the other day and realizing I didn’t have a pen in my pocket, I thought about stealing the pen on the deposit counter. This kind of little theft happens all the time, and we all do it. It’s like doing 51 in a 45 mph zone – we don’t really consider it wrong. So I thought, how much do banks spend in a year in replacing all the pens that all of us miscreants blithely walk away with? Is it more than banks lose to robberies?

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Silent Sundays

A few months ago my roommate Jon Ammons and I were deep in conversation about something modern and forgettable and droll when we had the novel idea to resurrect a dead art. Namely, that of the silent film with piano accompaniment. We were not unprepared. Jon has a serious and longstanding interesting in films from the silent era and I have a serious interest in music of the same. Realizing that we were strangely well-suited to the task and coupled with our  life of the idle passions of bachelor creatives, we set upon making this dream a reality.

I designed the posters, we booked a venue, arranged for a piano, projector and popcorn, promoted and procured press and pulled it off like pros. It was one of the most fun and successful events that I’ve ever been a part of without the aid of a well-established band. It’s a hell of a lot of work compared to the money I make, but it’s a passion project. Passion matters a lot in my world.

Thanks to all the people who came out for the shows and especially those who came out for both. We’re doing another Silent Sunday on March 18. The film is yet to be determined.