Welcome 2012!

A fine break and one good for the ego as several DFI students mistake me for Michael Porter – the Harvard University Marketeer!  I also heard that Santa (with Elf support) did well too!  Hope your break was as good!

My son recently drew my attention to http://soundcloud.com/roman-mars/99-invisible-43-music-of-elevators  where undesirable sounds of scraping on NY elevators are discussed – fits well with my remarks on designing in sound feedback and the warning that undersigned, unintended sounds can give. More example at: http://99percentinvisible.org  [And if you think this interesting you may be ready to check out the “band” he is playing with. I quote, “Waheela are a semi-improvised noise/rock project driven by a shared affection for shrieking feedback, non-denominational riff worship & unexplained sounds.” “Unexplained sounds” has, amazingly, a Wikipedia page. I was also pleased to discover the range of dates available for meetings/entries on the Outlook Calendar. Was a Microsoft serf micro-coder trying to tell us something? The first day you can select is April 1, 1601 and the last is August 31, 4500. OK so 1601 is a commonly used starting year for reasons I do not know (clearly you need to start somewhere when measuring time) but normally it is January 1st not April Fools day! Microsoft “support” states that they use 1/1/1601 http://support.microsoft.com/kb/188768 but why not for the Outlook Calendar? Looking for that date I came across little of interest but this entry for 1/4/1601 from Sir Robert Cecil’s ppaers held in Hatfield House. Sir Robert Vernon to Sir Robert Cecil. [1601, April 1]. “The Queen has dealt with me so mercifully that I now venture to appeal to you for some favour. I beseech you to be a means unto her Majesty for freely pardoning my offence; and the earnester I crave this because I have six brothers and sisters, which have their dependence out of my small living; and many creditors unto whom I am in danger for my debts. Myself for such a favour will desire a just occasion to sacrifice my life in your service.” Holograph. Undated. Endorsed :—“1 April, 1601.” 1 p. (181. 123.) [From: ‘Cecil Papers: April 1601, 1-15’, Calendar of the Cecil Papers in Hatfield House, Volume 11: 1601 (1906), pp. 153-165. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=111865 – accessed: 03 January 2012.] The other idea I had was Sam Peyps’s dad (Robert) but he was born on the 11 January 1601 so even after allowing for the 11 day advance when we changed to the Gregorian Calendar in 1752 his birth does not fit. Perhaps 1/4/1601 is a key date in a novel – does anybody know? I have no ideas about August 31, 4500 – anybody got ideas; from Science Fiction perhaps? Happy New Year! Mic PS As I write this I learn that Ronald Searle has died – I am so glad that, last year, I got to his retrospective at the cartoon Museum. Expect amazing images to abound and wonder on the influence of 3½ years as a guest in Changi and working on the Thai-Burma railway. PPS And, the timely relevant “[Nigel] Molesworth Self-Adjusting Thank-You Leter (sic)” (“How to be Topp: A Guide to Sukcess for Tiny Pupils, Including All There is to Kno about Space” Willans, Geoffrey and Searle, Ronald (1954). The complete trilogy is reprinted by Penguin.)

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