US House and Open Access

From ScienceNow:

And in a surprise move, a U.S. House committee has recommended that the National Institutes of Health (NIH) post its grantees’ papers on a free Internet site. Scientific societies and for-profit publishers were stunned by the language, which they say would drive traditional journals out of business.

This sounds like good news, but we’ll see if it makes it past the House (=cutting room) floor.

For more information on open access publishing, check out the Open Access News Blog.

Mr. Obama will go to Washington

Nick Confessore over at TAPPED writes:

To put it crudely, Obama is the black candidate African-American voters and middle-class whites both feel good about.

And it’s too true. From what I could garner when I was back home, the view of Obama in middle-class white Illinois is that he’s like the black orphan that the nice white family adopted and oh how generous they are and how well-spoken he is oh my. The palatable black man. This is not a criticism of Obama, or that he should position himself as anything other than what he is. He did not grow up in the hood and to posture like that would be disingenous and detrimental to his campaign. For all the excitement I have about him, his meteoric success is a sad indication of how far we have yet to go in this country.

pissed off

And yes, now soldiers can rehydrate their food with their urine. This reminds me of the first line of One Flea Spare, a play by Naomi Wallace in which I had the honor to perform, where Bunce the sailor’s first line explains why he was saving his piss: “it might have rum in it”.


Here’s a recent mix CD I made. It’s a bit heavy on the pop standards and light swing, noticeably lacking in the classical and electronic ends of my listening habits, but it has some nice juxtapositions I think.

1. There’ll Be Some Changes Made (Dave Brubeck/Jimmy Rushing)
2. The Anchor Song (Björk)
3. Croon Spoon (Eddie Vedder/Susan Sarandon, music by Mark Blitzstein)
4. Maggie’s Farm (Bob Dylan)
5. Frontier Psychiatrist (The Avalanches)
6. Daphné (Django Reinhardt)
7. Wondering Where (Don Byron, music by Scott Kirby)
8. Got My Own Thing Now (Squirrel Nut Zippers)
9. Let’s Do It (Ella Fitzgerald, music by Cole Porter)
10. And She Was (Talking Heads)
11. Re-Hash (Gorillaz)
12. Yo Mama (The Pharcyde)
13. Alabama Song (Ute Lemper, music by Kurt Weill, lyrics by Bertholt Brecht)
14. Go To Sleep (Radiohead)
15. Wandering Star (Portishead)
16. The Very Thought of You (Billie Holiday)
17. Beyond The Sea (Bobby Darin)
18. Sympathique (Pink Martini)
19. Coney Island Baby (Tom Waits)

magnetic fields

I went to see the Magnetic Fields play at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco, just south of the Golden Gate Bridge. It was one of the better shows I’ve seen, and just what I wanted — relaxing, yet exciting, funny banter, and a surprisingly good opening act by Australian Darren Hanlon. They played Papa Was A Rodeo, Yeah Oh Yeah (with choreography even!), Chicken With Its Head Cut Off, I Die, I Looked All Over Town, I Thought You Were My Boyfriend, Busby Berkeley Dreams, Reno Dakota, and many many others, including some from earlier albums that I had heard only once, songs from the Pieces of April soundtrack, and one from a Lemony Snicket audiobook. Apparently Lemony Snicket used to be in the band.

The Palace of Fine Arts is one of those venues with a huge wide stage and only 25 rows of seats. I’ve been very happy with concerts in San Francisco — most places are pretty small so that you don’t have terrible views, unlike the Shoreline in Mountain View, which wins the prize in my book for Worst Concert Venue Ever.

If I hadn’t just blown $60 at Amoeba I’d be tempted to buy one of Hanlon’s CDs and/or the Charm of the Highway Strip. Alas and alack…