Archive for the ‘science’ Category

sam roberts and KOS
Back to the blogging grind after letting the MAS blog fall fallow for a bit. Right now I want to share a few songs from my radio show (and I might have some more for you tomorrow from Tokyo Police Club and Said The Whale).

On Wednesday, Sam Roberts stopped by The Zone in front of his show at The Q Centre. Weirdly…K-Os also happened to be in Victoria…so he stopped by too.

The Sam Roberts Band performed a couple songs.

Cool. I really enjoyed that “Shapeshifters” cut.  Track one from his 2014 album, Lo-Fantasy.


Today I was fortunate to have Vancouver’s Head of the Herd on the show.  They performed their single “We Could Get Together.”


Wow. I am about one week and one day from my first ever boxing match! The Fight 4 The Cause Charity Boxing Classic is happening on Saturday, November 22nd at The Empress. I’ve been training every morning at 6AM for 7 weeks…one more week of boxing bootcamp and then its game time. To get this party started… Team Zone joined me to create a video that will play before my fight.

Dylan and Jason hopped into the Zone studio with Sheldon to record a cover of DJ Khaled’s “All I Do Is Win.” Then we all went down to the VIC 42 studio with Webmeister Bud to film a “corporate” video. Here we go.

And no one has asked me…but you know…just in case…our cover song is a free download.


And lastly… a short clip from my radio show today. Talking about the Rosetta Spacecraft, the comet landing and the eerie sound the lander recorded.

Go with yourself.

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Year After Year
Peter Gardner from Hawk and Steel came on my radio show yesterday to talk about his new song “Year After Year.”

I was sitting around the radio factory with DJ Boitano yesterday and he was talking about this funny break Dylan and Jason did on mammals and how long almost all of them take to urinate.

One thing led to another…and I’m in the washroom timing Boitano taking a piss.

Go with yourself.

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Up late last night working on music playlists for the Canoe Brewpub and I experienced a couple musical moments that are rooted in science.

I read a book (last summer maybe?) called This is Your Brain on Music by Daniel Levitin. The book is full of neat facts and research and explanations.  A couple things that got my brain turning last night.

I love listening to music loud.  I always have… likely will till my ears stop… then the theatre of mind will be in Dolby Surround all the time as I wait to die.  I remember as a kid jamming out my R.E.M. and Alice in Chains records before bed, cranked on the discmen.  A car to me, is a stereo that allows me to also travel faster than bus.  The bus is a wonderful machine that lets me focus solely on my iPod without all the “driving” getting in the way.  My late teens and twenties were spend at shows.  Loud shows were best.

When I came to the Zone (and still to this day) the monitors are at full bore.  When I did evenings, I’d walk home to Fernwood and get home around 1:30AM.  The evening show used to be live to 1AM back then.  I’d smoke pot, lay on my floor and crank music.  Even soft music had to be loud and with headphones on.  I’d lay on the floor or the couch, stare up and listen.

Coral, god bless her, does not like loud music.

What’s going on?  Science do you know?  You don’t?  SWA?

“A lot of people really like loud music. Concertgoers talk about a special state of consciousness, a sense of thrills and excitement, when the music is really loud – over 115 dB ( a typical rock concert). We don’t yet know why this is so.  Part of the reason may be related to the fact that loud music saturates the auditory system, causing neurons to fire at their maximum rate.  When many, many neurons are maximally firing, this could cause an emergent property, a brain state qualitatively different from when they are firing at normal rates.  Still, some people like loud music, and some people don’t.” (pg. 71 – This Is Your Brain on Music)

So there I am at, at 1AM last night, music cranked.  Its like my drugs man.

As I am sitting there at my computer at some odd hour, Wilson Picket’s “Land of a Thousand Dances” comes on.  Immediately I think about the 1988 comedy The Great Outdoors.  Its a film I watched over a dozen times as a young snot noser in Coquitlam.  The song is featured in a fairly prominent way and whenever I hear the song, I think of the film.  Music has a huge ability to trigger memories.

“According to the multiple-trace memory models, every experience is potentially encoded in memory.  Not in a particular place in the brain, because the brain is not like a warehouse; rather, memories are encoded in groups of neurons that, when set to proper values and configured in a particular way, will cause a memory to be retrieved and replayed in the theatre of our minds.  The barrier to being able to recall everything we might want is not that it wasn’t “stored” in memory, then; rather, the problem is finding the right cue to access the memory and properly configure our neural circuits. (…) In theory, if we only had the right cues, we could access any past experience.” (pg. 165 This Is Your Brain on Music)

Its why when I hear Harry Chapin I think of my Dad.  not because he is the “father character” from the “Cat’s in the Cradle,” but because I fondly remember the time we were driving through California listening to the record late one night many years ago.  When I hear the song (or any from the album we had punched up that night), the neurons take me to California with my old man.

Go with yourself.

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Man, look at that robot trying to laser gun those wild horses.  That just isn’t right at all.  at all.

Even that rainbow doesn’t lighten mood.  Not one bit.

This record cover that tells the tale of woe for these poor horses is from the Toronto electronic band Woodhands. What they have against the horses (or maybe for laser shooting robots) I don’t know, but I downloaded some songs they other day and they sound alright.

I downloaded a song called “Dissasembler.”


My computer world is a little rattled right now.  Coral and I went out to buy a new Macbook on Friday because the Toshiba is right screwed up and it died just before my DJ set.

I got the Macbook mostly ready for my DJ sets, need to still organize my playlists and the like.  And its a bit of a learning curve and awkward for me.  I have always been on a Microsoft PC so I’ll need to practice I guess.  And our internet at home has been weird.  The Mac doesn’t seem to be jiving on our WIFI.  When I get the Toshiba reformatted, I’ll be able to see if its a router or Mac thing.

One thing I am excited to do, is make podcasts from home!  The Mac comes with Garageband which is a program that allows me to record and edit audio.  fun.  I’ll just need a mic for home as the stock one in the Macbook sounds like suck.

OK good talk, Go with yourself.

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My ears hurt after some loud metal, they need sonic medicine.  Cue up…

And because everything refers to everything else… where does Explosions in the Sky steal their title for one of their greatest songs?  If you guessed East of Eden, award yourself two scenester points.

  • “I remember that the Gabilan Mountains to the east of the valley were light gay mountains full of sun and loveliness and a kind of invitation, so that you wanted to climb into their warm foothills almost as you want to climb into the lap of a beloved mother. They were beckoning mountains with a brown grass love. The Santa Lucias stood up against the sky to the west and kept the valley from the open sea, and they were dark and brooding-unfriendly and dangerous. I always found in myself a dread of west and a love of east. Where I ever got such an idea I cannot say, unless it could be that the morning came over the peaks of the Gabilans and the night drifted back from the ridges of the Santa Lucias. It may be that the birth and death of the day had some part in my feeling about the two ranges of mountains.”

I got home from visiting Madrona FarmFarmer Nathalie took me out on the boat to sail the pond with no name and hear the frogs.  I brought the recorder machine to capture some of the sounds for the first episode of the Madrona podcast (coming soon).  Looks like the first episode will be about frogs.

Thinking about the music that I will use to tie it all together, and I am sure Explosions in the Sky will factor into the soundtrack.  I am liking the idea of Carpenter’s “Best Place” as the theme song… but what else?

So far, the first episode has me heading out to the farm to meet Nathalie at some bizarre hour after the heart pounding Canucks’ game.  She meets me at the gate and we wander across the fallow fields up towards one of the ponds.  It is dark and I bumble along.  At the edge of the pond there is a boat with one oar.  Nathalie hands me a life jacket designed for a tween and assures me that the pond may be small, but no mortal has ever found the bottom.  We heft the boat into the dark water and “paddle” to the center.  There we sit, and we wait.  Silence, and then…. slowly at first, the croak of a frog.  Then two, then four… then a crescendo of amphibian noise.

It was spectacular to be in this boat in the middle of the pond and to hear all this wonderful noise. I have not heard the playback yet, but I pray that it sounds as good recorded as it did tonight.

After the frogs, I hopped in the Jeep and bee lined for Evo to see the Zone Band of the month, Oh Snap!  Al Ford from Sonic is in town and it was good to see him again.  He was the old PD for the Zone and the man who hired me many moons ago.

After a couple songs from Oh Snap, I was on the road again to the Cambie for a 24 Hour Relay fundraiser.  The sound of the day was metal.  I arrived just in time to see Archon Legion.  You’ll know and love Archon Legion from CRC 51.  I think Captain Rhaye told me that we made another $400 for Easter Seals.  Not bad… drip drip drip and hopefully we’ll get near our goal of $10,000!

Oh…. I got a good band to help soundtrack the Madrona Farm podcast.

First Listen: The Rural Alberta Advantage

Never mind they seemed to be based outta Toronto now, they lived in the rural flat lands of Alberta and they sing about farming apparently.

Go with yourself.

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Music NERD!

I wanted to have a show called Music NERD! that talked about the weird shit that goes on in music or at least dive into my favourite bands in a sickly dorky way.

Rozie (I think) sent this link.  Weird.

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“Green” power is an environmental catastrophe waiting to happen?  Do people even know what they’re saying anymore when they pitch a new power project idea or do they just ad-lib the proposals… this is so confusingly backwards.

Times Colonist: B.C. Rivers at Risk from Green Power

um… if the project pollutes the river, like say the COAL MINE on Flathead River for example, then that is not GREEN.

I think when the coal mining industry uses the word “green” to describe their new project, its time to find a new word for environmentally sustainable.

OK, I’ll climb off my soap box now… but seriously… Rivers at RISK from Green Power!  SWA?

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Fist off… David Eleanor checked the Soundscan to see what Victorian’s are buying.


82 copies of “Tonight: Franz Ferdinand” sold in Victoria in it’s first week.
A distant second to Bruce Springsteen, who sold 238 of “Working On A Dream”

Other Modern Rockers in the top 10:

4. Kings of Leon – Only By The Night…60 copies.  (up 50 from last week?
not too sure why)
8.  Killers – Day and Age…38 copies. (up 18 from last week)

On Note:

Despite national and international praise, Nickelbacks “Dark Horse” was OUT
SOLD by Franz Ferdinand this week!  82-67.


Now, in Nickelback’s defense (not that they need my help), Nickelback’s Dark Horse has been put since November, the fact that is still sold 67 copies last week goes to show… there are a couple Nickelback fans out there.

But overall, not a bad list. The Boss at the top (where he deserves to be), Franz, Kings of Leon and Killers all big sellers in the Capital.

This next email is maybe a “do better next time email?”  I dunno…


From: Shawn *** [mailto:shawn@***]
Sent: February-09-09 7:01 PM
To: ‘sarap@TheZone.fm’
Cc: ‘jeremy@zone.fm’
Subject: Programming question via TheZone.fm

Hey Sara/Jeremy,

My son tried calling to ask you a question during the picks at 6 tonight and obviously got the answer he didn’t want.  “Go ask your dad”… J

His question was “Why is there a right angle triangle but not a left angle?”

My son’s name is D. (he’s eight ) and was pretty disappointed with Jeremy’s response, so I’m hoping you could help him out.

I said maybe he could get a song (Jambi of all songs) on instead, but we weren’t able to get through after that.  This wasn’t surprising.

We moved to Vancouver in June, and he has developed quite a relationship with your station.  We listen everyday in the car.

Keep up the good work guys, I don’t miss the Fox at all.




hmmm, I wish I had kept the audio for this call, I’d play it for you.  It wasn’t a:

“grrr stupid kid go ask your dad.”

It was more a:

“ahahaha, good question, I wish I knew the answer.  I failed math.  Maybe that is a question to ask your Dad.  Keep on rocking little Zoner.”

and I hung up.  The kid never made a request.  So I don’t know… why is there no left angle?  Maybe Sara P will tackle it during Ask Sara P?

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Pictures Are Fun

Thanks Miranda!  This is neat.



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Ants :: Busy Little Fuckers

After the Thursday morning meeting, DW showed me this crazy video of a ginormous ant colony that scientists excavated in like Africa or Australia or PEI ( I dunno, somewhere with red soil).

Pol, Jason and I were all huddled around the computer in awe.  Then I thought, “damn you science!  you killed all these cute little ants!”

Turns out they “evacuated” the ants before their experiment.  Still, they did pour a few tons of cement into their megalopolis.  Nature, pretty cool.

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