June 3rd, 2003


(no subject)

Okay. I've posted a link to the Tokyo Breakfast thing on my lj, so I feel obliged to comment.


You'd have every reason to be offended if the video was produced for an American audience, but it was not. It is a Japanese sitcom produced for a Japanese audience making fun of Japanese people. Black people are too small a minority in Japan for most Japanese to want to openly discriminate them, or to even understand discrimination against them. What they are making fun of is not American black culture, but Japanese people who identify with the culture and accept it as their own.

And besides, it was a freaking joke. Lighten up.

an unqualified and totally uncalled for review of Street Symphony

Street Symphony was pretty good. Nothing absolutely spectacular, but still pretty good. There were few new faces, unfortunately, but most of the Bilingual Department's finest musicians had a go and it was quality all the way through. Despite some horrendous technical difficulties at the beginning, there wasn't one bad act.

Disconnected...was very polished. A bit too polished, maybe...No idea how much they practiced for this one, but I don't know, for most of its songs it sounded like it was just going through the motions. Don't know if that's a sign that they've been practicing too much or too little, or if it means they were just all too nervous, but in any case, a lot of the energy that characterized their previous performances was sadly gone. Individually:
  • Felicia's theatrics were great. No idea whether she was improvising or not, but her movements on stage looked well rehearsed, and if her attention ever drifted from the music she hid it really well. (Of course, that might just be a sign of nervousness, but oh well.) Her voice was fantastic (as usual ^_^), but I don't know, there was something very...radio about it, and not just because the amp was screwed up. Didn't sound like a live performance. Can't put my finger on what it is, exactly, but her voice sounded kind of artificial today, even though she hid it well. That low part in that Creed song was a nice touch, though a little creepy. Nice to see Felicia stretching her talents beyond their already almost superhuman levels.
  • Lisa was pretty natural this time, possibly because some of the songs she played she's been doing for God knows how long. She did goof a couple of times, but they were nothing serious.
  • Isabel hid behind an amp the entire time. Don't be shy, Ishy! You're too talented for us to ignore you!
  • Jenny Chu was at her finest today. There was none of that fearful, nervous uncertainty from Disconnected's first couple of performances. Instead there was this deep, rhythmic concentration, this intense focusedness. She was with the rhythm, with the music the whole time, and if she ever dropped a beat I didn't notice.

    Other artists/bands:

    Jean was absolutely incredible. She totally outdid the original singer of "Heaven" (despite the crapalicious microphone) and then blew us away again with that other song (ARG! I can't remember the name). She did get pretty tired near the end because we kept pressuring her to go back onstage, but she managed to pull through okay. And, upon request, she did "Angel" and "I Will Remember You" in a capella! Anyone else would have dropped dead from stage fright and emotional exhaustion trying to pull that off after "Heaven" and that other song (ARG!), but Jean made it through, and it actually sounded okay.

    The freshmen were great. It's a shame nobody could really hear their first performance, though, since the amps were all screwy. They didn't have the contagious happy energy they had at Beat (I still have "Pinch Me" on my computer), but I guess that's just because the songs they picked this time were a bit more serious. Their rendition of "Worlds Apart," while not as powerful as James Liu's version two years ago at UnPlugged, was not bad. Their cohesion boggles the mind--how can any group of people sing so well in perfect unison?

    Sean and Ivy's "Kiss Me" was impressively true to the original.

    Mr. Flynn was a very charming MC. (I like his British accent.) His open mic performance was totally unexpected and surprisingly very good.

    There were a few other artists, but about 90% of the concert consisted of performances by these people and I don't have the energy to judge anyone else.

    Oh, and BTW, just in case anyone accuses me of taking sides on the whole Felicia/Jean rivalry thing (which is officially over, but oh well)...

    Felicia is Bob Dylan. Jean is Whitney Houston.
    Whitney Houston cannot sing Bob Dylan. Bob Dylan cannot sing Whitney Houston.
    Trust me...they've tried. (Felicia and Jean...not Whitney and Bob. ^_^)

    So there.
  • dd2guy

    just when I thought I was free from calculus for a couple of months, it attacks me in my sleep.

    I'm not a math person, so I was a bit surprised when I thought of this really freaky calculus question as I lay awake in bed last night. (Michelle, who is a math person, helped me work out the kinks this afternoon.) Here it is:

    What is the probability of someone being born at any exact moment in time in a given year?

    This question isn't as simple as it seems, since "exact" implies that the answer must be accurate to any number of digits, e.g. June 3, 2003, 12:00:00:00:00....

    We know from elementary school math that the first step to solving a problem like this is to find the units. So let's see...since we're trying for absolute accuracy here, we'll assume that there is a unit that is the smallest possible unit of time and is one infinity-th of any other unit of time. Let's call it the phukasecond, since I've always wanted to use "phuk-" as a prefix.

    Now on to the second step: finding an equation. There are 365 days in a year, 24 hours in a day, 60 minutes in a second, 60 seconds in a minute, 1000 milliseconds in a second, etc. The odds of being born on a given day in a given year are 1/365, the odds of being born on a given hour in a given year are 1/8760, the odds of being born on a given minute in a given year are 1/525600, and so on. Thus, our answer should come in the form of 1/x, where the more accurate time we want, the bigger x will get.

    Thus, I know from AP Calculus that our equation should be:

    I spent way too much time making this

    Now here's the problem: The laws of calculus state that the limit of 1/x as x approaches infinity is zero. That would mean that as x approaches infinity, 1/x approaches 0/1. Therefore, the chance that you will be born at any exact moment in a year is as close to zero as you can get without actually being zero.

    However, each and every one of us was born at some exact moment in time.

    Contradiction? Michelle doesn't think so. According to her, yes, each and every one of the ten billion or so people on earth was born at an exact moment in time. However, there are a theoretically infinite number of exact moments in time, and 10,000,000,000/infinity is still pretty much equivalent to 1/infinity.

    But still. We were all born, despite the odds against our existence being literally as high as odds can go without being impossible.

    Against these odds, there is no way we could exist. Yet we do. Why?

    Any answers (perhaps by someone with more experience with probability and calculus than Michelle and me) would be greatly appreciated.

    (Not only did we not get a decent answer, I never got to use "phukaseconds" in my explanation. GRRRRRRR.)

    Anyhow...we can deduce from these conclusions that the odds of any two people being born at the exact same moment in time in a given year is as close to impossible as you can get without being impossible.

    Doesn't that make you feel special?

    Also: Sauch can really shake that ass. o_0

    [edit] The people at Kyhm's have some pretty interesting answers to this question.