28 December 2007

Ah, that Robinson Crusoe theme!

Some lovely genius has posted to YouTube the opening 20 seconds of Les aventures de Robinson Crusoe (1964), a European series that was shown in Australia on ABC-TV. If you were there, you'll recognise the theme music, a stirring melody that I've never forgotten.

Internet Movie database lists three series composers, Robert Mellin, Gian Piero Reverberi and Georges Van Parys. A reviewer, Rob Neal, writes:
It is also worth noting that the haunting score is also now available in an expanded CD from Silva Screen. The original soundtrack was in mono, but it seems there was such a demand for this piece, that the composers recently recreated a medley with a full orchestra in stereo.
This was another of those series that the ABC used to show in the afternoons during school holidays. Sir Francis Drake was another: I wrote about it (and its equally haunting theme) last year.

[YouTube link]
[Soundtrack and series DVD at Amazon.co.uk]

19 December 2007

Close 'N Play!

After my post about Ol' Fatso by Augie Rios a commenter wrote: Don't know how, but I had the 45 of this in my "Close & Play" when I was a child.

I didn't know how, either, mainly because I'd never heard of a Close & Play, which turns out to be a record player for kids: CLOSE 'N PLAY AUTOMATIC PHONOGRAPH - CLOSE LID... RECORD PLAYS.

That would've been an exceptionally groovy present for a kid in the 60s or 70s.

07 December 2007

You study 'em hard and hopin' to pass...

CNN.com shows how to make James Brown sound tedious:

CNN Special Investigations Unit Classroom Edition: James Brown: Say it Proud ...

Teachers: Please preview this program, as its content may not be appropriate for all students.

Grade Level: 9-12, College

Subject Areas: Fine Arts, Social Studies


The CNN Special Investigations Unit Classroom Edition: James Brown: Say it Proud and its corresponding discussion questions and activity challenge students to:

1. Examine the legacy of James Brown;
2. Identify the historical context of key events in Brown's life;
3. Design an exhibit for a memorial to James Brown.

Discussion Questions...


01 December 2007

Is 128kbps good enough for an mp3?

A handful of years ago when I first started ripping mp3s it was commonly held that 128kpbs was as high as you needed to go, because after that the improvement in sound quality was unnoticeable.

I've stuck to that, and a recent online experiment at Cognitive Daily supports it. Read the full story here, and as usual the comments are worth reading too.

Cognitive Daily home: http://scienceblogs.com/cognitivedaily
Cognitive Daily feed: