Howie’s Hot Five for…4 October, 2012

The week of Wheedle, Fender on verge of going out of business and Neil Young taking on MP3’s  – strange days indeed…

Listen to this week’s podcast here

5. Willie Nelson – On the rails again…

Rock and Roll officially enters its late middle-aged years so no surprise it’s now built for comfort… themed cruise ship packages are all the rage from Soul Train (sail with Gladys Knight, Earth Wind and Fire to Heavy Metal and all things in between – but here’s one we like…

Willie Nelson and Band of Horses and the Railroad Revival Tour 2012

So buy a ticket to one of the seven legs  – get a sleeping birth, unplugged concerts on the train, attend a Willie and band sound check with concerts between New Orleans, Memphis or Oklahoma etc – kicking off October 19 to October 27.  (tickets from US$650)

or if this isn’t your cup of tea then Cruise on the high seas with these guys…a KISS Cruise anyone?

As well, Cayomo (sold out) cruise from Miami to San Juan and Antigua with Lyle Lovett, Richard Thompson, Buddy Miller and Keb Mo.

4.In the week of John Campbell and school lunch appeals…

“A few volunteers gather unwanted food from local supermarkets and businesses, devise a menu and cook it for those going hungry,” writes the Guardian describing FoodCycle

The Facts:

  • 400,000 tonnes of food can be reclaimed from the retail food industry
  • 4 million people affected by food poverty in the UK
  • Over 2.4 million people are searching for work – so available for skills training

So this simple idea started only three years ago but now with 15 hubs in the UK tackles – food waste and hunger – while offering un-skilled, unemployed people a chance to learn kitchen skills.

But as usual – politicians pay lip service to it …but it’s struggling on total private funding- something ain’t right.

Source: The Guardian Blog

3. Neil Young goes all Pono…

Neil is on a crusade to improve the sound of digital music – YES!
Like Neil HH5 is so over ‘compression’.

Enter Neil Young and Pono described as an “ecosystem that includes a download store and a special technology to convert digital to analog audio to maintain  quality.”

It’s as close to analogue as digital can get… and as a sign it’s serious – labels will have to remaster their catalogues to be a part of Pono.  Young has filed for patents on the system.

…Warner Music, Universal Music and Sony Music, already expressed interest in the invention. and Flea has said ”it’s a dramatic difference.”

Will he succeed …hmmm, jury is well and truly out. Many of those pesky consumers simply want convenience…sorry Neil.

Source: Tech Newspedia

2. Hekia Parata’s Dream right here, right now…

Parents ability to log on from home, office or iphone etc to check their child’s grades, assignments, school reports.

Hello – online school grade-reporting system.
In the last five years the number of US schools using online checks for parents has tripled to 35% of public schools.

One parent said (bit chilling we think) “it enables him to help her spot her weaknesses and improve her study and planning skills before it’s too late to avert a bad grade.”

Over the last decade, the trend has been toward integrated über-systems that link class materials and assignments, gradebooks, discussion boards and blogs, attendance records, and school calendars.

But it always boils down to ‘rubbish in rubbish out’… the child who got an F because her teacher mistyped and put a 10 in instead of 100% … or teachers with no time to keep the system completely updated (thank god for human error!)

Or a child’s perspective: “Someday I’m going to be standing at my locker and I’ll get a text from her saying, ‘Why didn’t you turn in your algebra homework yet?’ and I’ll say, ‘I haven’t even had class yet today,’  “Now that she is going to know about it immediately, there’s no way I can even try to hide,”

And finally a teacher’s perspective: “too much emphasis on posting and viewing online grades risks making education “a faster and faster hamster wheel.”

Source Curious Parents

1. The Female Elvis Returns (from beyond the grave)

Janis Martin sold 750,000 records in the 1950’s of a single called Will You Willyum… and some say she’s the true queen of rock-a-billy. Called the female Elvis she fell off the map due to marriage and children. In 2007 aged 67 she returned to the  studio and cut this record  – but she died of lung cancer two months after the recording wrapped up.

Rosie Floris who dragged Janis into the studio recently released the album and is now touring her songs… listen to a lovely 9 min doco interview on NPR (source below)

Source: NPR Weekend Edition

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