your social calendar for tonight

Attention shoppers: tonight would be a good night to come to Bohemian Carnival, as Luxxury are a really good band.
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This is Mad Redneck Science

Human Slingshot

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DNA Lounge: Wherein we desire to suckle the corporate teat.

I've started embedding YouTube clips in the calendar, underneath the event descriptions. How's that working out for you? How does it make you feel?

The idea here is that when you're looking at the calendar and see something unfamiliar, the easier we make it for you to see/hear what that band or event is all about, the more likely you are to show up. And embedding YouTube is a whole lot less trouble (technical, and legal) than hosting representative MP3s or something. It needs to be right there, since very few people will bother to click through the links to the band's web site or (shudder) MySpace page to try and find samples the hard way.

Also, tell me if you know of embeddable clips for events that don't have one, or better replacements for the ones I already have.

I'm still not all that happy with the layout of the calendar pages, and never have been. I like the menu this site has over on the left side, but I don't like that it results in there being a wide black stripe down most of the calendar pages. The page is already pretty wide, and recovering that space would be nice. But the only idea I have that wouldn't look like ass is to change the whole site to use a navigation bar at the top instead, of a menu on the left. I think that making that look good would probably require leaving out half or more of the links that are currently in the menu.

I'm sure a lot of you reading this fancy yourselves "web designers", so why don't you send me some mockups of your better ideas?

(Suggestions I've gotten a lot include: "Fill up the top part with some giant space-waster to justify pushing the entire calendar down onto the second page, under the menu, where it can be flush left." That's a fine idea except for the "space waster" and "second page" parts. Another is: "Float the menu, so that the calendar wraps around it." This is only suggested by people who haven't actually tried it and seen how crappy it looks.)

I had dinner with a friend the other day, and she mentioned that she was in the process of planning her software company's Christmas party, and that she'd been talking to another San Francisco venue. I asked her, "Why haven't you called DNA?", and she said, "Oh, I didn't know you guys did that sort of thing." And I died a little. She went on to say, "Yeah, they're making it totally easy: we just give them $[five_digit_number] and they give us free food and booze, it's a no-brainer." That's when I started crying.

I mean, for that kind of money, we'll even buy tablecloths.

We really, really need to get on the radar of corporate types who want to put on company and industry parties for holidays, trade shows, product releases... we've done that sort of thing a few times, and we're good at it, but what we've not been good at is courting the people who throw those events. They don't know we're here.

You! You there! With the job at the dot-com two-dot-oh company! We will help you party. Call.

We also do weddings.


DNA Lounge: Wherein you engage in commerce.

Hey, you want to buy some posters? I finally got around to digging through the boxes of leftover posters we have from past events and put them on sale in our online store. Ten bucks plus shipping, mostly 12"×18".


Placed by The Gideons

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neurofeedback toys

So there's this Kurzweil vaporware from 1998 (I guess NeuroSonics is just a holding company for a patent):

Brain Generated Music:

The user attaches three disposal leads to her head. A personal computer then monitors the user's brain waves to determine her unique alpha wavelength. [...] Music is then generated by the computer, according to an algorithm that transforms the user's own brain-wave signal. [...] the fact that the sounds are synchronized to the user's own alpha wavelength to create a resonance with the user's own alpha rhythm also encourages alpha production.

The music itself feels like it is being generated from inside your mind. Interestingly, if you listen to a tape recording of your own brain-generated music when you are not hooked up to the computer, you do not experience the same sense of transcendence. Although the recorded BGM is based on your personal alpha wavelength, the recorded music was synchronized to the brain waves that were produced by your brain when the music was first generated, not to the brain waves that are produced while listening to the recording. You need to listen to "live" BGM to achieve the resonance effect.

And now there's this brand new vaporware:
Project Epoc is a headset that uses a set of sensors to tune into electric signals naturally produced by the brain to detect player thoughts, feelings and expression. It connects wirelessly with all game platforms from consoles to PCs. Project Epoc now makes it possible for games to be controlled and influenced by the player's mind.

Are any of these electrical drugs actually on the market? Or does the fact that people have been playing with this stuff since the 70s and there are still no products more sophisticated than X-Ray Specs mean it has about the same mental effect as watching screen savers with your nose on the glass?

Still waiting for that Brainstorm / Strange Days tech... (Previously.)

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