Beautiful Noise

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I enjoy experimenting with audio especially if the sounds I am tinkering with lend themselves to relaxation. Being able to construct a soundscape that evokes multiple moods is a pleasure that could, if I had the time, provide me enormous delight for all of my days. That’s why I was so pleased to come across a website maintained by a genial signal processing engineer, Dr. Ir. Stéphane Pigeon. Although Dr. Pigeon’s alluring auditory work,, is designed primarily for sound therapists and hearing professionals, exploring the noises portion of the site is an exhilarating experience. Imagine expertly-crafted sounds wafting into your welcoming ears, systematically exciting your neurons, and refreshing your mind and you have a pretty good idea of how wonderful Dr. Pigeon’s site is. Find a sound set, put some headphones on, close your ideas and drift away into a soothing sonic universe. I like highly recommend Wind Noise.

Slim, Vout, and All Kinds of Hep Conlangs

Slim Gaillard, musical Renaissance ManThe world became a little more grar-sa on this cee-met-o in 1916. That’s when Mr. Bulee “Slim” Gaillard first graced the universe with his unconventional presence. Actually, the date of Slim’s birth, his birthplace, as well as his lineage are still being disputed. What is known about this remarkable fellow is that he was one of America’s most innovative performers. Gaillard was something of a Renaissance Man. He was a clever songwriter, jazz singer, guitarist, and thoroughly mesmerizing pianist. For an entertaining sampling of Gaillard’s vocalese variations, drop by the Internet Archive’s collection of Slim’s collaborative tunes with Slam Stewart or listen to the embedded selections below.

Gaillard also constructed his own language, a lingo called Vout. Slim’s tongue-in-cheek speak is sometimes referred to a conlang or constructed language. Wikipedia has an engrossing list of constructed languages that features communicative creations of authors like J.R.R. Tolkien and J.K. Rowling. Also of interest is the Wikiportal devoted to constructed languages.

Note: The picture accompanying this post was constructed from an image that was originally posted to Flickr by Never Slim at The original image is licensed under the terms of the cc-by-2.0.

Sounds Good to Me: Audacity 2.0


I can’t believe I missed this. Audacity 2.0 (for Windows, Mac, GNU/Linux, and other operating systems) launched on March 13th! I’ve been so swamped with making a living that this long awaited development passed right by me and I didn’t even notice. Thank goodness thenextcorner over at Hacker News was kind enough to make a post about the topic. If you’re looking for a reliable (no-cost) means of audio editing. Audacity is well worth exploring.

I promptly downloaded and installed Audacity 2.0 and played with it for a little while. I was pleasantly surprised with how easily I was able to import different flavors of audio into the application. I also checked out the built-in help and related tutorials. I think users will appreciate all of the improvements.

Now Hear This: Flapcast

Why be relegated to listening to podcasts on a particular device? Flapcast is a useful means of listening to podcasts for people who don’t like (or can’t use) iTunes and hop from computer to computer. This nifty service is a fast and simple way to listen to and share podcasts over the web.


tubalr: Tune In!

tubalrRemember when MTV had good music and videos? Seems like ages ago. If you’d like to enjoy an artful blend of video and tunes reminiscent of the better days of Music Television, check out tubalr. Cody Stewart, tubalr’s maestro has channeled some excellent music through his site. Be sure to explore the offerings under genre. Just be ready to blow off everything else you’ve planned for the day while you tap your feet and sing along.

Related: For more information about Cody and his rockin’ site, read the Daily Dot’s Tublar Makes YouTube Totally Tubular.


History, Poetry, Music, Math, and Science…a Perfect Storm of Learning


On this day, November 10th, in 1975, the freighter SS Edmund Fitzgerald (a taconite carrier) sank during a storm on Lake Superior. All of the crew, 29 nine men, perished. The event was memorialized in the lyrics of singer Gordon Lightfoot‘s popular ballad, the Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald.

Though sad, this historical event presents an engrossing opportunity for students and teachers to collaborate and engage in interdisciplinary research. It’s a perfect storm of learning.  Delving into what lead up to the tragedy allows pupils to explore elements of:

Diving into this and other historical events, using them as case-study investigations into why and how things happen, makes learning more rewarding and allows students to integrate technology resources in a more meaningful manner.

Related resources: