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Neil Gaiman has a few musings on the next Doctor:

I think that if you’d asked me who should be the 11th Doctor 5 years ago I wouldn’t have listed Matt Smith, because I didn’t know who he was or what he was capable of, and if you’d asked me who should play Sherlock Holmes in a modern day revival around the same time I wouldn’t have said Benedict Cumberbatch, because I didn’t know who he was either.
I actually like it when The Doctor is a relatively unknown actor, or one without one huge role that made them famous. A star, like Sir Ian, brings all the other roles they’ve ever played to the table when they act. Seeing John Hurt as the (Spoiler) at the end of the Name of the Doctor, meant that this was a certain type of part with a certain amount of gravitas, and you understood that John Hurt was bringing everything with it (including being John Hurt), just as Derek Jacobi did as the Master.
But I like to see The Doctor as The Doctor, and an actor who doesn’t bring baggage is a grand sort of thing. A star waiting to happen. So I don’t want to see Helen Mirren or Sir Ian McKellen or Chiwetel Ejiofor, or any of the famous names people are suggesting.
I want to see The Doctor. I want to be taken by surprise. I want to squint at a photo of the person online and go “but how can that be The Doctor?”. Then I want to be amazingly, delightedly, completely proven wrong, and, six episodes in, I want to wonder how I could have been so blind. Because this is the Doctor. Of course it is.

Founding Fathers pinups, by publius-esquire. =:D

The NSA and FBI have had, since 2007, a broad-reaching surveillance program named PRISM, focused on "nine leading U.S. Internet companies, extracting audio, video, photographs, e-mails, documents and connection logs that enable analysts to track a person’s movements and contacts over time." The known partners are much as one might expect: Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, PalTalk, AOL, Skype, YouTube, Apple. (The odd one out, they note, "hosted significant traffic during the Arab Spring and in the ongoing Syrian civil war") Here's their slideshow presentation. Entirely unrelatedly, we hear the NSA is opening a new $860m data center in Maryland, joining a $1.5b facility in Utah.

And in celebration of these enhanced freedoms, They Might Be Giants released a quick ringtone ditty.

When I'm next in the area, I must try MoGo's menu - a food truck operation in the Bay Area offering Korean style meats and tofu in Mexican preparations. =:9 Yep, things like 1/2lb of chicken in their marinade, with cheese, coleslaw, kimchi fried rice, and chipotle sauce as a burito, or a hot dog with kimchi, jack & Cheddar, chipotle, and fresh lettuce/cabbage slaw tossed in vinaigrette. They seem to mostly rove around the South Bay, and peninsula, from Burlingame through Sanjovaleview, up to Milpitas - to find out exactly, the best way is to check their Twitter feed.

This 500px journal's worth reading, if you're looking at how to get a photo pass for concerts. As you'd expect, step number one is that small venues often won't mind if you're wielding an iPhone or a telephoto bazooka. =:) Certainly, last Saturday bore that out - a modest local venue, which I hope will thrive as it becomes established, with no problems shooting with the D7100 and Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8. (Unfortunately, I did manage to overlook one blazingly, screamingly obvious point: don't shoot too slow! I did vary the speed quite a bit, so there's a good selection of pretty decent shots, but why the hell did I even think of going down as far as 1/50th? Still, the stabilisation acquitted itself well - 1/100th at 300mm on some, and still nice and sharp. And it's a whole load easier focusing on people than buns!)

While reading the Wikipedia entry for Roald Dahl, I noticed this, referring to his time at Repton School in Derbyshire: "Cadbury, the chocolate company, would occasionally send boxes of new chocolates to the school to be tested by the pupils. Dahl apparently used to dream of inventing a new chocolate bar that would win the praise of Mr. Cadbury himself; and this proved the inspiration for him to write his third book for children, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (1964), and to include references to chocolate in other books for children."

How do you (as in, you personally) pronounce "Nikon"? There seem to be two camps, NICKon and nEYEkon. If one were faithful to the original Japanese pronunciation, I suppose it'd have to be the former. One really nifty benefit of buying from Grays of Westminster? Invitations to presentations by experts in their field - the 21st sees an evening with Felix Kunze, a portrait photographer with some exciting flair. It's not really my natural field, true, but I'll delight nonetheless in gaining some insight into his inspiration and techniques.

A Kickstarter xyzzysqrl ought to know about: A Hat in Time, a 3D platformer (OS X, Windows) strongly reminiscent of Nintendo's classics, and looking very polished indeed. Its target was $30,000, and they're around $90,000 now, with 24 days to go - so, they're burning through the stretch goals now. =:D

If you're after some good music tutorials, Berklee College has put out a collection of theirs on BitTorrent, part of that company's efforts to raise their profile as a distribution channel. The "preview" includes four videos:

Berklee Online - Business - Music Marketing Online.mp4
Berklee Online - Performance - Blues Guitar.mp4
Berklee Online - Production - Electronic Music.mp4
Berklee Online - Songwriting -Prosody and Tone.mp4

- if you provide them with an email address (which can, of course, be a disposable one, such as through Mailinator, 10 Minute Mail, or your own), many more are made available:

Berklee Online - Performance - Bass Clinic.mp4
Berklee Online - Performance Ear Training.mp4
Berklee Online - Performance Funk & R&B Guitar.mp4
Berklee Online - Performance Guitar Chords Clinic.mp4
Berklee Online- Making it as a Modern Musician.mp4
Berklee Online- Music Supervision.mp4
Berklee Online- Performance Rock Drums.mp4
Berklee Online- Production - Ableton Live 9 & Push.mp4
Berklee Online- Production - Ableton Live Looping Clinic.mp4
Berklee Online- Production - Critical Listening_1.mp4
Berklee Online- Production - Music Production Analysis.mp4
Berklee Online- Production - Music Production Clinic 3.mp4
Berklee Online- Production - Professional Music.mp4
Berklee Online- Songwriting - Arranging Clinic.mp4
Berklee Online- Songwriting - Creative Writing Clinic.mp4
Berklee Online- Songwriting - Film & TV.mp4
Berklee Online- Songwriting - Lyric Writing.mp4
Berklee Online- Songwriting - Orchestration Clinic.mp4
Berklee Online- Website Best Practices.mp4

- be sure you've got space, though! The bundles are about 5GB and 25GB respectively, given they're all video.

Good to see Sierra Nevada getting involved in the GBBF this year, sponsoring the American Cask Ale Bar. With any luck, there'll be some representation from Lagunitas, Stone, and Green Flash, not to mention Dogfish Head and Brooklyn. (Would that Lagunitas' Brown Shugga could be there, but it's apparently a Winter seasonal)

The HD25-1 II headphones arrived - yes, worth it. Nicely neutral sound quality - plenty of bass, extending deep, but not in the least unbalanced or heavy, with crisp highs. The isolation is indeed very good. They fit a little more snugly than some other headphones, but not uncomfortably - I can still see myself enjoying a few hours at a time with these. Also rather nice to see electronics not made in China, for a change - these were made in Ireland. Good on Sennheiser! A quick comparison with the housemate's AKG-55s, used for gaming, shows they're quite different - the AKGs are still good, but the clarity on the HD25s was dramatically different. Some Sony in-ear fared much better, but still something of a shadow. And if even I can hear that degree of difference.. =:D (I shamefully admit to encoding to 96kbps AAC a few years back. All I can say in my defense is the earbuds I had at the time were pretty bad, and I didn't know any better)

Thanks to Daniel RavenNest on SLU, I have a positive slew of leads to follow up, if I want to try bringing my SL appearance into RL. ^_^ In particular, the Neurolab Ultimate boots. They wouldn't be essential, but definitely a lot of fun. ^_^ (Not that color, though - I'd really want the same as the shade I tend to wear, as here)

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How do you (as in, you personally) pronounce "Nikon"?

NEE-kon. :)
*phbllbt* =:)

Now I'm thinking of camera-tans.. dammit. ^_^;
I agree with Schnee (I think): for years I used to stubbornly pronounce it correctly (as the Japanese would): Nee-kon (with the long "O", as in "Oh") and no emphasis on either syllable.

After years of this I finally gave up when Nikon themselves started running ads pronouncing it, "nEYEkon (with the "on" pronounced like "on" of on-off). Plus, tired of all the confused looks by wide-eyes. I think only the Brits pronounce it "Nick-on".

They do the same with Hitachi. In commercials in Japan, it's pronounced shTA-chi. The three-syllable Hitachi with an 'h' sound at the beginning is the gaijin pronunciation.
NEYE-kon, because that's how Paul Simon pronounces it in 'Kodachrome' :)
nEYEkon. Never heard it pronounced any other way, either.
nEYEkon, this is what Nikon has always been for me. Though I guess both version are alright, something like the British and American pron of 'tomato'.

Mmm, PRISM. I hope the guy who revealed this little secret has disappeared as part of his own plan for evading the long arm of Uncle Sam. Kinda sounds scary.