I have mentioned this many times. This century will be about water:

Turkey, Iraq and Syria in water crisis summit –
Turkish, Iraqi and Syrian ministers met in Ankara on Thursday to discuss water shortages in the major Tigris and Euphrates rivers, which run through all three countries.

This is very cool:

The Long Now Blog » Blog Archive » Mechanical cell phone
Long Now member and alumni Camille Davila sent me a note about a recent development at Ulysse Nardin, a cell phone that is charged by an offset weight swinging around from the ambient motion of the owner. This is an adaptation from mechanical self winding watch technology of course, but it is very cool to see it crossing over into other personal electronics. You can see more on this on their website here.

This is an email interview for the October 11th concert in Riga, Latvia. The questions are verbatim as I received them, as are my answers…

Beginning of Interview:

1. Every musician wants to have a big audience and day by day keep more famous. Could you play to only 5 people and what would you feel about it?

I would play for five people and less.
In Tibet I played for a few kids – see this photo.
The quality of a performance depends more on the quality of the audience than the quantity.

I performed in a wine-cellar for a handful of people, and I played a concert in front of 25,000. One was not better than the other, just different.

I don’t enjoy performing in the same space every night. For example, playing only in 2,500 seat theater would not be that much fun for me. I prefer to play in a theater one night, and in a club the next night.

2. You are born in Germany. Which country you love most and why?

Although I was born in Germany, I started traveling at an early age. When I was 19 I took the Paris-Moskow Express and then the Trans-Siberian Railway, continuing to Japan, Taiwan, Hongkong, Thailand, Nepal and India by myself. I love traveling and there are many places I love returning to.

I don’t think I would say I love a certain country most, but there are many areas or cities that I love. I love the city of Santa Fe, that has been my home for a couple of decades. I also love Rome (Italy), Auckland (New Zealand), New York City, Camaiore in Tuscany, the rawness of Kham in Tibet, the city of Cologne, Paris in France… and there are so many more. I am looking forward to playing in Vienna on October 2nd, because I have very fond memories of spending time there with my dad.

I have never been to Latvia, but have started to read about the country and especially the city of Riga since I will be there next month. Maybe it is a city I will want to return to again and again.

3. What is the thing (feeling, story), the guitar can’t tell about?

I think there isn’t a single thing the guitar cannot express for me.

On the other hand, one could say the guitar expresses emotion and poetry and cannot express data. We live in a world filled with more and more data and facts and information, and in a world like that music is badly needed to balance that.

4. There were a such thing with you, when you was a guest in some country or
city and should traveling to the next place, but your soul was full of pain about this leaving?

I think if one doesn’t experience that feeling often, one is not traveling enough! Many times I leave a place wanting more.

But that is the nature of the type of traveling a musician does… we are like butterflies, flying from flower to flower, never staying long enough, always wishing we had a little more time here and there, but moving on nonetheless…

I did have an amazing time in Kham, Tibet, and want to return sometime. I want to return to Japan, actually wanting to take a few months to walk through Japan. I want to return to New Zealand and explore the countryside, I want to live in Spain for a while, in the Barcelona region.
And so on, and so on…

5. How much people in your life you are happy to see anytime?

There are about a handful of people I am happy to see anytime… and many more I am happy to see some of the time.

And, of course, there are some I would happily avoid, also.

End of Interview

And I uploaded the August slideshow:
Photos (02009-08)

Ah, live performance

Monotonous Forest: Ah, live performance
Last night’s fascinating evening of music by Peter Eötvös at Zankel Hall had some unanticipated “extras,” beginning with a particularly startling cell phone going off right before Encore, a brief string quartet written for György Kurtág’s 80th birthday. The woman answered the call. As the musicians waited, the violist tried his best, grinning, “Anyone else?” By this time an usher was glaring at the offender, who apparently didn’t know how to turn off the device. After it beeped the third time, the exasperated staffer finally grabbed it, shook a finger at the woman and left, accompanied by more than a few bursts of applause.
(Via The Rest Is Noise)

And here is another version of the events.

Top Kitchen Toy? The Cellphone

Top Kitchen Toy? The Cellphone –
Mr. Cosentino said that he sees multifunction devices like the iPhone as the real technological revolution for chefs.

“You’re never going to get a chef to sit at a desk or a computer screen all day,” he said. “But I can take this to the farmers’ market, I can take it to Italy, use it as a camera, look up the history of dishes so I can brief my servers, and make voice notes while I’m cooking,” he said. “And then do I use it to play the Macarena in the kitchen and drive everyone crazy? Yes, I do.”

Cell Phone Use While Driving

National Security Council calls for nationwide bans on cell phone use while driving
The National Security Council sent out a message on Monday that calls for all 50 States to implement bans on citizens using cell phones while driving. The group referred to a study done by the Harvard Center of Risk Analysis, which revealed that 6% of all automobile crashes in the U.S. are caused by cell phones.

And they mean any cellphone use: includes headsets… (((maybe even email and IM?)))

6% of all crashes, about 40,000 traffic deaths per year – does that mean that 2,400 people die every year because somebody had to be distracted by their mobile?

In 2006 I wrote:

I get the sense that in a few years either a chip in each car will prevent a phone from identifying itself to a cell-tower while the car is moving – thus the phone won’t work – or a person applying for a driver’s license will have to master a multi-tasking test in addition to the other tests…