Make music with the bees sample kit

One of the dandelion collective’s modue operandi has always been to look to the natural world for inspiration. And as a sound producer recently I have been more interested in sampling the environment to make music over using synthesizers or traditional instruments. I struggle with the fact that I don’t want it to be so obvious that it replaces the sound of the natural world but enough so that it still allows identification to make you listen closer.

The sample audio geniuses at tonehammer have created a sample kit to pay homage to bees. You can download the kit as well as read more about the inspiration and how important bees are to our survival. Very cool and most likely will be used on my next project!

Full Article after the jump

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The art cars of Burning Man

If anyone ever asks you to describe what is amazing about Burning Ban, a quick perusal of these photos of art cars might do the trick. The art cars at BM exhibit a range of wonder and whimsy is inspiring, which of course is what makes BM such a great phenomena.

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Hacking a Washington D.C. internet voting site

Here’s the first thing that I was about to email to you guys and thought… Wait I can blog this!

It’s techy. How a pilot project for online overseas voters got owned.

The (white hat) hackers knew that the pdf file that users uploaded were encrypted via a command line tool. They were able to compromise the system by changing the extension of their ballot submission from .pdf , to specific system commands. When the system tried to run the encryption program at the command line, it instead ran the commands the hackers embedded in the file name (via the extension).

(From )

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Earth Charter: humanity must choose its future

Wow, Im excited to have stumbled upon this on Thursday at a talk in Vancouver by David Korten. I knew there must be many many initiatives like the one that we are embarking on, (and sort of dont want to research them yet), but this one just came up.
I like it. And I appreciate that many people seem to have agreed on it.

“We stand at a critical moment in Earth’s history, a time when humanity must choose its future. As the world becomes increasingly interdependent and fragile, the future at once holds great peril and great promise. To move forward we must recognize that in the midst of a magnificent diversity of cultures and life forms we are one human family and one Earth community with a common destiny. We must join together to bring forth a sustainable global society founded on respect for nature, universal human rights, economic justice, and a culture of peace. Towards this end, it is imperative that we, the peoples of Earth, declare our responsibility to one another, to the greater community of life, and to future generations.”

A good overview:

The full Charter (Not that long):

However, one thing I realized from exploring this is that the more items/madates/principles that you include – the more people you might also be excluding. Im not sure I would include item in the full Earth Charter in my personal Topher Charter.


Its funny, this reminds me of a recent story I read about the Tea Party movement. Apparently there has been an intentional avoidance of talk on Religeon at Tea Party meetings. They want to include all the people who are really irritated by big government – and so they dont want to splinter this coalition by discussing religeon because some members are very conservative christians – and some are not.

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Steven Johnson on where good ideas come from

Steven Johnson recently gave a great Ted talk on where ideas come from and how to foster them. He makes a compelling argument that new game changing ideas don’t just pop into our head in the classic Eureka moment, but that they grow slowly over long periods of time. They are made of up many parts inspiration, contemplation and collaboration . Ideas come from thinking about things with others and thinking about the same things for years or decades before we have the “ahha moment” where our thinking might finally crystallize into something new. Following this line of reasoning, the best way to cultivate new insight is collaboration and discussion and by working on things that interest us even if they don’t first appear to have a direct connection with what we might normally think are important problems.

If you don’t have time for the whole 17min Ted talk, don’t miss Steve’s excellent 4 minute animation on the same topic.

[ted id=961]

Link (via Complexity Digest)

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Choose principles for individuals based on their community effect

Ok so I’m a physics geek. And one of the things we learned was how atoms or particles following simple laws for their individual motion, would result in the properties that we touch and feel in the materials of our every day world.

Think of an ocean wave. Each molecule of water is just responding to some simple forces from its nearby H2O buddies. But the collective behavior of billions of them is a smooth breaking wave exploding into an orchestra of bubbles and droplets cascading on the beach.

What about people and societies. Can we describe the society that we want to have, and then work out what principles for individuals would result in this society?

Obviously this is oversimplified – just a way to think about things. Its not “society first”. A primary goal of the society is to have specific individual freedoms and protections. So the society is “designed” based on what we want for individuals.

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Tim and Stephen and I met at Makers Faire in the SF bay area and then went for 2 nights camping in Big Basin state park among the mighty Redwoods. It was a wonderful re-union. And an extended brainstorm.

We’re all feeling transition in our lives. An emerging priority for us is searching to understand how we can improve the planet and the lives of those on it. Hey, its not selfless, we live here too.

We’re still interested in art and creativity and technology, they all have an important contribution to a healthy world.

But if you ask yourself, “How is the current state of the Earth?” Well, its just not good. Some people are doing fine, for so many its just terrible. Its just not acceptable. We wondered: Is there a set of principles that if followed by everyone would result in a just world where everyone has enough? I suppose that sounds similar to a religion or the laws of a country. But pare it down, what is this core? Is it something we can agree on, regardless of faith or nationality. And if so – how do we implement it?


What could dandelion collective be if it was a large group? We explored the idea of a network of people that shared a core set of common principles and passions. How could this group help its participants? What could this group accomplish in the world?

We felt this was worth exploring further and that a blog would be a good way to do that. And here you are.

We’ll investigate this, and invite you to subscribe to follow the discussion, and join it via comments. If we come up with something that makes sense, then we’ll create this network – but not ‘dandelion collective’, something new.

What would it be called?

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