I used to follow Guy Kawasaki in the early Mac days, and I recently noticed he has a new book out. I haven’t seen it, but the announcement prompted me to check out some of his older books from my local library. One was called Hindsights: The Wisdom and Breakthroughs of Remarkable People and contains interviews with successful people. Only a few of the interviews are very insightful; Mary Kay Ash was probably the best.
In spite of the book’s theme, Tom Peters decided to show off his foresight:
I can’t imagine a scenario where Apple is a leader twenty years from now. Maybe it will be ten times bigger … but setting the agenda? That’s an insane thought.
The book has a copyright date of 1993, so the interview must be from about twenty years ago.
Last week we had second row seats to a Bombay Bellywood belly dancing show in Durham. The seats were worth it for the view but was a bit rough on my ears with the giant speakers only a few yards away.
If there was a story or theme, I missed it. Instead, I only saw two and half hours of high-energy dancing. It seemed that each dancer was always doing at least two of the following things at once: hopping feet, swinging hips, rolling bellies, shimmying shoulders, articulating arms, and twirling bodies. Two different troupes represented two different styles of costumes and dance, cabaret and tribal, though there were plenty of costume variations throughout the night for all dancers. The music seemed to be a surprising mix of Indian/Arabic songs and electronic techno music, except for a live solo drummer who supported a few pieces.
My favorite dances were those with veils. It was amazing how many captivating visuals could be produced by the swirling veils.
The crowd was mostly women, who were constantly offering up enthusiastic shrill howls I later learned were called zaghareets. And strangely enough, less than 24 hours later my ears were again bombarded with zaghareets from the crowd at the Sanity Rally. One more occurrence and it may have qualified as Jungian Synchronicity.
We saw Shakespeare’s As You Like It at PlayMakers Repertory Company last week. It was my first time in the updated theatre, which was very nice — stadium style seating surrounding the stage on three sides. The downside to having seats on three sides instead of all in front is that one side sometimes had an obscured view of the characters. But I think it was worth the occasional missed gesture since the layout also meant everyone was closer to the stage.
I wasn’t familiar with the play, and I had a hard time following the dialog since it was in the original Shakespearean English. Here’s the first sentence as a witness:
As I remember, Adam, it was upon this fashion
bequeathed me by will but poor a thousand crowns,
and, as thou sayest, charged my brother, on his
blessing, to breed me well: and there begins my
I guess it’s not legitimate to complain about the language of a Shakespeare play, but it did take away from my appreciation. I’m sure there was a lot of wit in the text that was lost on me. I was expecting the language style could be updated while maintaining the cleverness.
Without the wit, the simple plot was not enough to hold interest. Fortunately, the staging of the play was very good. The set was simple, versatile and high quality. The acting was fine as far as I could judge. I was most impressed with the physical advancement of the story, with active fight scenes and silent communications via gesturing. I wonder how much of that is standard or new to this production.
Ravi Shankar, his daugher Anoushka Shankar and a few supporting musicians performed at Memorial Hall on Tuesday night. There’s a decent review at IndyWeek for anyone wanting more sophistication. A local professor made introductions and explained the music as being romantic and added, “India is a very romantic country, as you can tell by the population.” The eight-year-old sitting next to me pondered that for a moment and then declared to her mother, “Oh, India is romantic so more people want to move there.”
The opening act was composed of four performers, with most of the action coming from a flutist and a drummer. I couldn’t see much movement from the other two, but they were apparently playing some kind of slow bass sitars. The wooden flute sounded a bit coarse at first as if resisting, but with lots of energy the flutist eventually won the battle and produced many flowing sequences of pure sounds. The most impressive thing about the drummer was the ability to produce so many sounds from a single drum. His hands each played at opposite ends of the drum simultaneously and with different beats.
Just like in this tame New York Times review from eight years ago, Ravi Shankar looked very frail coming out on stage and needed help getting set up, but after that he played energetically for the rest of the evening with his daughter playing at his side. Shankar was smiling, laughing, and playing very quickly toward the end. Both played sitars, with occasionally accompaniment from other musicians. They played only two long, continuous pieces. Though I wasn’t familiar with the music, I could recognize many sequences that are now embedded in Western guitar music. So maybe it’s true that Shankar is the “the godfather of world music,” as George Harrison called him.
For myself and others I talked to, the performance felt like it went by fast, but on checking the time afterwards, over two hours had elapsed. I wonder if the music had induced some kind of trance state that impaired our perception of time.
Memorial Hall did a great job at relaying the music to the audience. It was, however, annoying that they still haven’t convinced the audience not to keep checking cell phones or taking photos. I mean, how good a photo can you get anyway?
With my west coast cousin and fellow blogger and fiber artist coming this way for a big birthday celebration, I decided to make her a tie-dye T-shirt. Lee’s a quilter and her favorite color is brown, so that set the theme. I didn’t have any brown dye, which made for an extra challenge. I found two strategies on the web: one started with boiling walnut husks, and the other was to mix all the primaries together in some unspecified proportion. I also knew from my color science research for graph colors that brown was dark orange.
After trying a few test patches, I found two combinations that worked well and used them both. One was equal parts orange and black. The other was one part cyan, two parts magenta, and three parts yellow.
My first effort was to simulate a quilt with rectangular patches. This shirt uses both browns.
Next I tried to capture the eight-pointed star pattern I’ve seen in quilts. The eight wedges didn’t quite fill out into touching diamonds like planned, but it still made a nice flower. The blue is really a mix of a dark blue and a light blue, which is what produced the glow effect.
I still had some dye left over, so I made a couple more shirts for myself. The first takes advantage of the way the cyan and yellow bleed out of the CMY brown to produce a green halo. This shirt also employs six-fold symmetry, which was a little tricky.
Finally, I went with a basic horizontal stripe pattern using the orange brown.
After making a dozen or tie-dye shirts in January, I said I would have to be wearing a lot of tie-dye this summer. I can now report that that goal was accomplished. I knew I had achieved success when I had eight shirts in a load a laundry, and they were all tie-dye. Twice, I think, I managed nine days in a row of the custom shirts. Next summer’s goal will be ten days in a row.
I also made more shirts over the summer, including some superhero shirts, which I’ve sold a few of. I still haven’t got the Superman S quite right, but the Batman shirts have come out well.