Umm....wanted the sound of a marching snare drum approaching and departing in a stereo field. Could've achieved a left-to-right motion by simply panning the sound, but good listeners would know that was how it was done, because there would be no timbral change. So, we attached a headphone amp to the back of a real field-mounted snare drum:

Then, I played the drum (which had been loaned by a colleague) while moving it, recording it with a pair of ribbon microphones in an 'X-Y' pattern:

Then, because this sound we got was a bit pointed, we sent the recorded signal through a speaker mounted on top of another snare and recorded the resultant sympathetic 'buzz' of the snares with a reference microphone:

It was surprisingly easy to get the actual effect I wanted, perhaps 70 minutes of work, but this was for just eight bars of audio. The result was a bit spooky, though, so well worth the effort. By the way, this is the same track that I hired Blake Jones to play theremin on and to which we added sirens (as in background-singing bombshells) which morph into 'sirens' (as in bomb shelters, seek cover).




Yours truly will be teaching it, as shown in this snapshot from the local web site:

I'm afraid my course isn't highlighted at the web site, but there is also a link here to a PDF version of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute's offerings this fall in Fresno. The details of the course are as follows:

I received the opportunity to do this out of the blue in late April. I hope to offer a user-friendly, engaging but uncompromising course. Anyone can become an Associate Member of Osher for $15 per semester, and the course fee is an additional $30. If interested, please contact the Osher Institute:

Phone # 1-559-278-0008

Email: osher@csufresno.edu



My old sparring partner Vox Dei
has issued another challenge to PZ Myers, based upon this post of PZ's responding to an article by Sam Harris. Harris uses a graphic, and I have to say that I agree with PZ's assessment: this is not a great metric for the evo-creo wars. Like Ken Miller, I would probably be in PZ's 'blue box' most of the time on the issue of evolution, and whenever I find myself in the 'green box', I wouldn't have much company. The 'red box' of the deluded is much more highly-populated, I'm afraid, and if we included the devious it would be even worse:
Now, Vox has previously tried to debate PZ on the subject of atheism, but he has been dismissed as an outlier. Vox thus writes:

Well, my dear Dr. Myers, since you were previously afraid of a radio debate with me on the evidence for the existence of gods, perhaps you'll be more willing to engage in a written debate on the scientific evidence for evolution. After all, if the issue is so comprehensively settled in evolution's favor, it should be no trouble whatsoever to make your case to everyone's satisfaction, however initially dubious they may have been. And since you have now asserted that there are no Worthy Opponents, you no longer have any need to hide behind your stated belief in my supposed crackpottery."

Here's my reply, based upon my past correspondence with Vox, which I am cross-posting at both Pharyngula and Vox Popoli:

Actually, I would consider you to be a worthy opponent, Vox---just not on the question of whether evolution occurs, or whether it is (deservedly) the dominant model within biology, because in our previous exchange, you pretty much conceded those points. You don't raise YEC arguments, because you know they are risible. Nor do I see you pushing 'fine-tuning' arguments, because you know they do not bear directly on questions like Earth's antiquity, how best to interpret the fossil record, or whether natural selection leads to increased diversity. Frankly, based on my memory of our exchange, you are on the edge of PZ's 'blue box'.

Your main beef with TENS is its status as a scientific theory. You don't deny that it's been a useful model, you just express skepticism of how seriously it should be regarded due to its predictive power, which is low compared to some of the models in the physical sciences. You've suggested that TENS will eventually be replaced by some other scientific model that makes better predictions.

Fair enough, but in the meantime you've been smart enough not to say anything about what that model will be! So, your argument basically amounts to something like this: "Evolution, meh. It's the best thing we've got, right now. I hope something better comes along, someday."

I just can't imagine partisans on either side of this debate getting that worked up over that argument. You could generalize that sort of reasoning to a lot of things in biology and the social sciences, not just evolution. What amuses me is that many of your commentators here seem convinced that you are defending views that you have never espoused!