Alternative cues…

I really love it when alternative cues from soundtracks, like the one below, are leaked. It’s nice to hear “fresh” developments and explorations of themes, and some of the different aspects of the corresponding scene that the composer was trying to reflect, performed and recorded to the same standard as the original soundtrack. Personally, I think they should be officially released in a similar way to some of the other “behind the scenes” elements of films, like conceptual art and deleted scenes. They’d certainly make a better addition to the soundtrack album than the remixes that some albums inexplicably include.

Parademics…

It’s always nice to hear alternative arrangements of well-known themes. I recently stumbled upon a new source of such arrangements: Parademics. Like The Blake Robinson Synthetic Orchestra, the music is created using some pretty good sample libraries. I think I initially came across the YouTube channel when it had little other than some fan-made Pirates of the Caribbean music, but the quantity and breadth of the music have significantly improved over the last few years. I imagine that each arrangement is far from quick to make!

Below is one of the more recent arrangements to appear – to listen to more, visit the channel on YouTube.

Greater London Transport Tracks Map…

This is a really cool map, showing the full geographically accurate (as far as I can tell) track layout of all railways and tramways in London. London Underground, London Overground and closed railways are all included, as is Tramlink in South London. Also included are the start and end of tunnels and the location and layout of depots and sidings.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t feature any old tram lines or anything that was proposed but abandoned, even if building work had started (e.g. the Northern Line extension to Bushey Heath). However, it does include lines currently under construction (e.g. Crossrail) and that have not yet been started (e.g. the Northern Line extension to Battersea).

From the map you can get a real sense of where the railway capacity is in London as well as where stations, minor branch lines and useful non-radial links have been lost. The additional diagrams of historic track and junction layouts are particularly interesting. I am surprised and impressed that someone managed to find all of this information!

There are maps for additional cities and regions available too, from a drop-down menu above the map. I’d like to see Dublin’s railways, Luas and DART on a similar map.

Cymatics…

Do you know what’s cooler than either science or music? Both at once: scientific music! Or is it musical science?

I should’ve made a video like this featuring LocaMsg, though when I had LocaMsg running on a range of phones I was too busy experimenting and writing a dissertation about it and the results of the experiments…

Website of the month, August 2014…

The website of the month for August 2014 is The Window & Door Repair Shop. Normally when purchasing items online I stick to established channels (e.g. Amazon, eBay) or sellers (e.g. Domino’s, Argos, Marks & Spencer). However, I recently needed to purchase a replacement part for a locking system that wasn’t sold by any household names. Despite looking questionable (notice the domain name change as you try to buy something) The Window & Door Repair Shop provides plenty of information on what it sells, allowing me to select the correct part based mostly on pictures and measurements.

It is on this happy note that I am ending the website of the month feature on this blog. Initially intended to highlight cool and useful websites that it would be easy to miss, there are now websites dedicated to (and far better at) this purpose. It’s also increasingly becoming a restrictive format for me – I have something like 30 links built up for future posts which would be better dealt with in a shorter format (e.g. a tweet) than with a full blog post. Indeed, sharing any non-original content on this blog contributes to the problem of information overload – a problem that I am trying to reduce in my life and appreciate that others may be trying to reduce too.

The (best) website of the month feature has been running since late 2005, and there was also briefly a ‘worst website of the month’ feature. It seems a shame to end the longest-running thing I’ve been doing on the Internet other than this blog (which, essentially, is just an organised way of uploading random stuff), but the spirit of the website of the month shall continue through links I will continue to share on this blog more sporadically and in various formats.

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